CHANGES IN ACCESSIBILITY OF EDUCATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE IN RURAL AREAS - EVIDENCE FROM POLAND
Keywords:social infrastructure, social infrastructure services, rural development, schools, kindergartens
Social infrastructure is an important element determining local socio-economic development. The paper deals with the problem of residents' access to basic educational infrastructure. The aim of the study was to determine the accessibility to educational infrastructure in rural areas in Poland. Social and spatial accessibility to primary schools and kindergartens in rural areas was specified. Research used data provided by Statistics Poland for period 2000-2019. The article reveals that the spatial availability of educational infrastructure in rural areas has changed over time; compared to urban areas it is worse for kindergartens and better for primary schools. Social accessibility to rural kindergartens has increased significantly. Private sector and non-governmental organizations play an increasingly important role in ensuring access to educational infrastructure in rural areas in Poland. Providing access to rural education is a very important task for local authorities in Poland. Educational facilities, i.e. schools, fulfilling many non-educational functions, determine the vitality and development of local communities.