Geospatial Distribution and Accessibility of Primary and Secondary Schools: A case of Abbottabad City, Pakistan
Quality education in isolated areas is a major issue in developing countries like Pakistan, as access to formal education is linked to improved life prospects for rural students. Among the factors for education, accessibility is school availability within a minimum spatial distance. The spatial distribution of schools is generally uneven in most of the cities of Northern Pakistan, thus limiting access to formal education at the primary and secondary level. This paper analyzes the spatial distribution of the primary and secondary schools found in the hilly terrain of Abbottabad city. Results show an uneven scattered pattern of schools and decreasing accessibility with longer travel times, at higher costs. Cost-weighted distance showed that this spatial distribution extends the travel distance by more than 5km for secondary school students living in the city. However, spatial restructuring and reorganization of schools in the study area would enhance student access to school facilities.