Assessing spatial inequality and accessibility to schools in urban areas: A case study of Aseeb, Oman

T. Al-Awadhi, S. Mansour*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In most developing countries, the spatial structure of educational facility distribution fails to produce optimal location of services, thus successive reforms and planning have sought to make service accessibility and coverage more efficient and equitable. The main aim of this research was to investigate the spatial pattern of school distribution across Aseeb Wilayat in Muscat, Oman, focussing on how to quantify the association between population density and school distribution. Several GIS methods and procedures were undertaken, including the assessment of the spatial pattern of school distribution and average distance using average nearest neighbour (ANN), Moran's I to examine the degree of spatial clustering of school locations and the Thiessen polygon method to construct a geographic zone around each school which could serve as catchment area for school enrolment. The ANN ratio was less than 1.0 (0.606), indicating that the school distribution is spatially clustered (p < 0.000). There was also a significant autocorrelation of school locations and the observed clustered pattern could not be due to random chance. Thiessen polygons revealed a clear relationship between school location and population concentration, with larger polygons around school locations where the population density is low and small polygons within administrative areas with a higher population size. Although the educational system of school catchment area has not been established or authorised as yet in Oman, the constructed polygons provide effective strategies to geographically create primary admission criteria for school placement and attendance. Educational authorities, planners andpolicy makers could benefit from this powerful technique in reducing spatial inequalities between areas and urban zones in terms of school accessibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Geoinformatics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Instrumentation
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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