Analyzing Spatial and Non-Spatial Factors that Influence Educational Quality in Primary Schools of Emerging Regions: Evidence from Geospatial Analysis and Administrative Time Series Data (The Case of Gambela City, Gambella Regional State, Ethiopia, East A

Abraha Tesfay Abraha


It is universally agreed concept that education is a corner stone for socio economic transformation.  Education has been recognized as weapon to fight backwardness, poverty and illiteracy for ages. Experience have shown that all the good benefit of education has been assured only when there is quality education. However, there are visible indicators that education quality has not been still achieved in the entire world. Particularly, education quality in developing countries is perceived as discouraging. Hence, the sharp decline of education quality is becoming major concern for developing countries like Ethiopia. This is also more serious concern in emerging regions like Gambella regional state where most people share pastoralism way of life. It is also understandable fact that there are locally known spatial and non-spatial factors that affect education quality. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to identify spatial and non-spatial factors that influence educational quality of primary schools in emerging regions. As methodological approach, the study was used descriptive design approach with mix of qualitative and quantitative method. The main data sources were both primary and secondary data. Primary data were collected from spatial and non-spatial data sources. The spatial information was mainly collected from GPS reading, aerial photo and land use plan. Non spatial primary data were collected using interviews and discussions. The perceptions and reflections of key informants (teachers, students, principals and parents) were entertained by using focus group discussion, key informant interview and public hearings. The secondary data sources were collected by means of desk review. As result, the study was found that education quality in the city is weakening. The underlying causes are, low teachers motivation level, high students- teacher ratio, high students- section ratio, lack of instructional materials, lack of infrastructure and facilities. From the spatial perspective, the education institutions are an unevenly distributed that students from the central part of the city are more advantageous. On the top of this, there are significant number of primary school students that travel more than 3km which is higher than the national standard. 64% of the total city boundary is accessible up to four (4) km. whereas 34% of the city boundary is beyond the maximum service area In this regard, in Gambela city 32% is well served, 20% is moderately served and 12 % is fairly serviced and the rest 34% is not accessible at all. This study also suggest that to improve the ongoing problems, in the first place government and stakeholder’s commitment is critical for the restoration of education quality. Secondly, planning, supervision and monitoring mechanisms for the entire education system should be in place. Thirdly, professional awareness particularly spatial planners’ must be increased so as to plan accessible and evenly distributed schools in master plan context. Fourthly, modern communication and information technology equipment have to be provided for each schools so as to bring transformations in the emerging regions.

Keywords: Distribution; Emerging Region; Elementary; Gambela; Quality; School; Service Area

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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