DepEd Undertakes Precision Mapping of High Schools Thru GIS Technology

Article excerpt

Byline: edison d. ong

The Department of Education has produced a powerful computerized decision support system that integrates digital maps and databases of secondary schools or high schools in the Philippines.

It is precise to the point of detailing vital information such as a particular school building standing on "hazardous" ground to original title of land ownership and benefactor, desks and tables, classroom over capacity, classroom damage conditions, potential students in underserved areas, etc.

More importantly, the decision-support maps, for instance, display the results of the prioritization schemes for new school development and classroom improvement.

School mapping is a set of techniques and procedures used to make planning and deciding for future school development at the local level more rational and effective. In the Philippines, school mapping was first introduced in the Third Elementary Education Project (TEEP). It was then applied to the Secondary Education Development and Improvement Project (SEDIP) which was stared in 1999.

The accomplishments and final outputs of DepEds SEDIP-School Mapping Exercise (SEDIP- SME) were presented in a conference at the Sulo Hotel in Quezon City recently.

Participants were the 149 stakeholders of the project from the 15 Social Reform Agenda (SRA) provinces, which include DepEd Central, Regional and Division Offices, as well as local government units (LGUs). Specifically, the attendees are school division superintendents, planning officers, physical facilities coordinators, governors, mayors and provincial planning and development coordinators. The SRA provinces are Benguet, Ifugao, Antique, Guimaras, Agusan Sur, Surigao Sur, Romblon, Masbate, Leyte, Biliran, Negros Oriental, Southern Leyte, Zamboanga Sur, North Cotabato and Zamboanga Sibugay.

The conference highlighted the outputs of the SME project which include among others the Geographical Information System (GIS) maps of the 15 SRA provinces, and a Geographic Database for Secondary Schools (GDSS) manual with corresponding CDs. The GDSS is packed with 300 maps, information on 875 schools, over 7,000 photographs and more about 1,700 pages of documents.

It also stressed the application of the technologies in educational planning and development as well as resource allocation. Institutionalization of the SME technologies used in the project was likewise focused.

The SEDIP-SME project that started in November 2002 and ended in January 30, 2004 was made possible through a loan granted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). It was implemented by DepEd through the assistance of the Pacific Consultants International (PCI), CERTEZA Surveying and Aerophoto Systems, Inc., Filipinas Dravo Corporation and Associated Resources for Management and Development, Inc. …