Every South African public school’s matric results, mapped

edited January 2017 in Site discussion

imageEvery South African public school’s matric results, mapped

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  • GtStevensonGtStevenson Centurion, South Africa

    Yikes - KZN, ECape and Limpopo looks terrible o_O

  • Yeah - it's one of the reasons I really want to stress the dropout rate could affect the view dramatically though. I have a feeling the numbers are publicly available per school, but will take a bit of time to bash into shape (like this data, which was scraped from PDFs and mashed with some Excel docs).

  • There is without a doubt a crises prevalent in government schools. There is no way to deny the fact. Remove the private schools from the picture and there will be a visible horror story. Then add the results of international studies on key subjects such as maths and science and see how SA fairs. Last, but not least, what was the average pass rate for the schools that reflect as green and will those passes allow students, sorry - learners, to further their studies or at least get an entry level job to kick off their careers?

  • With ref to below pass rate should be pass mark...I.e. 50% pass rate but an average pass mark of 40%

  • @keithb I don't know if the average passmark for each school is available (or would be meaningful, since different subjects have different pass ranges I think?). But there is more data relating to average marks in key subjects for each school that I'll try and add in over the next few weeks. I think this is a work in progress (and probably a standalone website at some stage).

    In terms of international comparisons, As far as I know, South Africa isn't part of the two big international comparison studies - TIMMS and PISA. That horrible WEF stat about worst in the world in maths that gets bandied round is rubbish though - it's basically an opinion poll, not an actual study of student ability. Africacheck is a good resource on this: https://africacheck.org/reports/is-sas-education-system-the-worst-in-africa-not-according-to-the-data/.

    No-one's denying there's a crisis, though: basically, for the amount we spend on education the results aren't great. I think this map is useful for a) parents to get an idea of school performance and b) to show that there's also some undeniable trends at the provincial level.

    BTW - this map is only government schools. There's no private schools in there unless they sit government matric exams.

  • Fantastic effort Adam. I had a look my alma mater, Mmabatho High School. They're doing OK, but could be better. Looking forward to seeing this year's results.

  • Hi Adam, thanks for this fabulous work, I can't get enough of those interactive maps! I recognized some of the rural schools I've been following in Limpopo (I work for a programme called Partners for Possibility, www.pfp4sa.org)... Can you pls share the link to the source that you've used? Does the DBE have a database that is easy to download/use? Thanks! Magali

  • @Magali von Blottnitz Thanks Magali - all the data comes from the Department of Education's website, but it's a combination of PDF reports which were scraped and Excel files for the school location data.

    The performance reports are here - http://www.education.gov.za/Resources/Reports.aspx (amusingly, the date underneath the Minister's signature in the intro is wrong, it should say January 2016...).

    The GPS co-ordinates from the schools mostly come from these docs: http://www.education.gov.za/Programmes/EMIS/EMISDownloads.aspx

    And then there were some that I found using other means - but that was the majority of it. I thought the file used to generate the map could be downloaded directly from Tableau, but annoyingly it looks like it restricts downloads to PDFs or Tableau files - I didn't realise that. Drop me a mail at adam at htxt dot co dot za and I'll send it directly to you.

    I'll chat to Code4SA about hosting it too.

  • Just spotted a slight error that must have been introduced at the last minute - in the school labels, the actual number (not the percentage passrate) for students who passed in 2015 is showing the 2014 passrate - I'll fix this when we update the map with tonight's results. The percentages and colours are correct, however.

  • Thanks, Adam. A valuable resource. Two queries: Convent of the Holy Family is an independent, not a public, school, but its results appear here. Are all independent schools writing the NSC included? If the data is to be properly meaningful, this differentiation does need to be made. Secondly, I can't find the National School of the Arts, yet it is definitely a public school.

  • edited January 2017

    @Fiona Wallace Hi Fiona - thanks for the feedback. Anything we can do to make this a more useful resource is much appreciated.

    On those two points - National School for the Arts is in the data set, but it's one that I don't have location details for, so it doesn't appear on the map. I'll update this today to include those schools but give them an arbitrary location (They were appearing on the north pole in a previous version but for some reason have vanished in the final pass I made...)

    The data is based on NSC results so does include independent schools which sit that exam - I'll make a note to clarify that in the headline and see if I can find a way to distinguish on the map. Thanks for pointing that out.

    The huge caveat is that this is a work in progress and was done by scraping government resources, so I haven't manually checked every point on the map, just a sample to make sure there's no glaring errors. I'm chatting to Code4SA about hosting and sharing the cleaned data so it can be improved via feedback and checking.

  • National School of the Arts, 17 Hoofd Street, Johannesburg. Thanks for such quick feedback. I'm going to do some social media PR for you. This is really important work.

  • edited January 2017

    Thanks @Fiona Wallace - I've put up a second map with today's results in here: http://www.htxt.co.za/2017/01/05/matric2016-all-the-sa-nsc-school-passrates-mapped/

    And included some of the details you mentioned. I'll keep plugging away at it too :)

  • You could have mention about those red, green, dark green means. So that we have no need to read the full article.

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