With the apparent advance to urbanization and the decrease of rural school-age population, a great number of schools in rural area have been small. In order to improve the education quality of rural schools, small rural schools are merged dramatically. After the consolidation rural school, the larger quantity and small scale problems in rural area have been solved, and the economies of scale and education quality have been improved. However, many problems emerge. For example, the distance from home to school is farther, the cost of family education becomes higher, and the school management is more complex. Adopting ArcGIS, this research explores the distribution of the rural primary schools in a mountainous county of China and assesses the school distribution and the existing problems. Best School in Kumbakonam
It is found that the distribution of educational resources in County is not balanced. Via Proximity analysis, one can find that some villages are far from school, the actual service areas of the school increase, and some villages are in the service blind area. In the end, recommendation is offered that schools cannot be merged at present, instead, the necessary small schools and teaching points in countryside must be set and the network analysis is conducted to offer some suggestions on school location.
Although after the consolidation of rural schools, the big quantity and small scale in rural school have been solved, and the economies of scale and education quality have been improved. But many problems occur. Residents in rural area are scattered, school aggregation makes them feel inconvenient in many aspects, not only the distance, security issue on road, but also the economic burden for rural families, which is the most important reason for students to drop out of school. Distance, cost, and difficulty are the main problems for rural education after school adjustment.
The balanced development of education is always a hot topic for contemporary scholars and society. As the carrier of education development, school layout is closely associated with the allocation of educational resources, and the rational planning of school layout plays significant role in achieving the balanced development of compulsory education. Slage (2000) had examines Blue Valley School District (BVSD) use of GIS to help it manage and plan for rapid growth and development area. He believe that GIS can best be described as a system that allows for the capture, storage, retrieval, analysis, and display of spatial data for the purpose of advancing school planning activities. Malczewski (2001) construct a multicriteria-decision support system (MC-SDSS) framework and integrated GIS techniques to resolve educational resource allocation problems. Caro (2004) used GIS to propose finding a satisfactory solution in school redistricting. Hanley (2007) used GIS technology to study the relationship between school district size and bus transportation costs.
The data mainly come from two parts. The first part is map graphics data, township distribution map for Zhenyuan County, 90m resolution DEM data from “Geo-spatial data cloud”. The second part is the data provided by the County Board of Education.