After the general analysis, GRID3 Sierra Leone GIS experts assessed school coverage using other factors such as ownership (private vs. public schools), quality, and the geographic location of the school (urban vs. rural). Government officials and the GRID3 Sierra Leone team believe these additional factors will provide more insight into how to implement interventions that can increase access to high quality education in the country. To perform this assessment, both GRID3 population estimates and settlement extents were used.
For example, the School Coverage Assessment by School Type analysis revealed that primary schools had the highest coverage rate, with 98.51% of children aged 6-11 located within the 3-mile radius of a school. This coverage is achieved due to the high concentration and spread of primary school locations across the country. However, findings highlighted that coverage rates for pre-primary, junior secondary, and senior secondary were considerably lower (54%, 71%, and 53% respectively).
“When assessing the 3 mile coverage target, the majority of the population is within 3 miles of a school location (98.67%). However, when you break this down by school type and district, you can begin to see where there are gaps in coverage and which age-groups these affect the most,”
explains Alina Game, a GRID3 Sierra Leone GIS expert who worked on the report.
As a next step, the GRID3 Sierra Leone team will perform analyses to provide suggestions for new classroom locations using a site placement optimisation method developed by GRID3 partner Flowminder. The team will also engage key stakeholders to increase the use of the data. The results from this report and GRID3’s optimisation work will inform a nationwide strategy around the planning of suitable school catchment areas, placement of students for examinations, and construction of additional classrooms.
To read the full report, please click here.