Study on Optimization of School Layout after Rural School Consolidation
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. It is found that the distribution of educational resources in Zhenyuan County is not balanced. http://www.karthividhyalaya.com/ 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. Sohoni & Saporito (2009) used GIS to link maps of elementary, middle, and high school attendance boundaries, examine student enrollment in non-neighborhood schools changes levels of racial segregation in public schools across urban school districts by comparing the racial composition of schools and their corresponding attendance area. Results showed that segregation levels in school catchment areas become lower from elementary to middle to high schools. Nayati (2008) established a GIS based school transport management system to helps bus-stop allocation, specifically to design the fastest and safest bus route with AVL facility. Mulaku (2011) used GIS technology in the Kenyan School Mapping Project, to collect the geographic location of schools, the number of existing schools of different levels in the public and private sectors, their enrolment and the number of teachers data for all Kenyan learning institutions to provide useful information for educational planners. Recently in China, with the development of school layout adjustment, more and more researchers began to pay attention to the layout of the school, and use the GIS technology to study the rationality and fairness of the adjustment of the school layout. Kong, Li and Zhang (2008) used GIS to assess the educational equality and spatial accessibility in school redistricting. Kong & Lv (2010) used GIS spatial models such as nearest school model, gravity model and Huff model to test by linear regression of actual and estimated student enrollments of all schools. Zhao, Wu and Parolin (2012) used GIS and Ordinal Logit Model analyzed the impact of school closure on students’ schooling distance in rural area. Zhao, Shao, Guo et al. (2016) presented an analysis of the spatial pattern evolvement characteristics of rural schools and their development level in a mountainous area over the past 10 years. Various methods, including trend surface analysis, spatial hot spot detection, kernel density estimation, principal component analysis and clustering analysis were used in the study. Dai (2017) used GIS technology to construct a quadratic programming model to minimize the variance of all students’ expected values on educational quality under constraints of the maximum distance and schools’ capacities. This new allocation model can significantly improve the spatial equity of educational resources compared with the way of allocating students to the nearby school. Generally, a large number of the existing research mainly conducts qualitative research or statistical analysis form the field of social, education, economy to analyze the consolidation influence of rural schools. The number of school distribution research using GIS is few, especially, there are few studies on the layout adjustment of rural primary schools in mountainous area, taking a county as a research unit. Therefore, this research intends to take a mountain county as the research object, and employ GIS technology to study the educational equity for the layout of rural primary schools.