Education research: Maths in Diepsloot, Johannesburg, part 1

29 October 2015
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Today’s post is a first look at a project that I’m developing at work. Work is ED Platform, a Johannesburg-based consulting company. Our website is here. We’re creating a database for the South African public education system, and the next couple of blog posts will be a taste of what’s possible with our analysis.

I’ve analysed data from the Department of Basic Education (DBE). The data sets include a list of state and independent schools in South Africa, and a detailed breakdown of the matric results for 2014.

A reader asked if we could look at the results for mathematics in Diepsloot, a township in the City of Johannesburg metro. In this post we’ll identify the high schools in Diepsloot and discuss what analysis is possible.

The map below shows the Gauteng province with the location of all high schools:

Gauteng province and its high schools

Gauteng province and its high schools

The map shows the province, its metro / district municipalities, and the wards of the metros / districts. The City of Johannesburg metro is in the centre, in pink. To the north is the City of Tshwane metro (in blue), to the east is the Ekurhuleni metro (in green), to the south is the Sedibeng district (in brown), and to the west is the West Rand district (in yellow).

The map also shows all the high schools in the DBE’s database. which includes all schools designated as ‘secondary’, ‘intermediate’, and ‘combined’. This includes both state schools and independent schools.

Diepsloot covers two wards (Wards 95 and 113) in the City of Johannesburg metro. The next map shows the metro and the two wards (highlighted in red). Diepsloot is in the north of the metro, on the border of the City of Tshwane metro:

Johannesburg metro and Diepsloot

Johannesburg metro and Diepsloot

The next map shows a close-up of Diepsloot. There are eight high schools in the township:

Diepsloot and high schools

Diepsloot and high schools

In the next post we’re going to look at the maths results of these schools in the 2014 matric finals. We’ll be able to identify how many students wrote maths in Diepsloot, how many received an official pass (i.e. 30 per cent or more), and how many did well enough to qualify for tertiary education.

We’ll also be able to compare maths results across the eight schools and identify which schools are producing the highest number of graduates (and the highest percentage of graduates).

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5 thoughts on “Education research: Maths in Diepsloot, Johannesburg, part 1

  1. Thina

    This is a very interesting research and would love to be informed about the findings. I studied social sciences at Forth Hare in East London now doing post grad in Education through UNISA. how can I get the update about the findings? this study is similar to what I had a question about the education system in Eastern came, what motivates kids to be in school.

    Reply
    1. Admin Post author

      Hi Thina

      Please keep checking back to the blog – as soon as there is a working product I will publicise. You can also email me directly – the contact details should be here on the blog. Thanks for reading.

      Paul

      Reply
  2. Nic

    Hi Paul

    Glad to see you guys are looking into this. Would also recommend looking at the throughput rates in these schools. Should be able to get numbers from DataFirst’s SNAP data which has enrollment by emis number and grade. Passes or bachelor’s as a proportion of gr8 four years earlier is much more meaningful since it accounts for strategic dropout which can drastically alter the picture of which schools are performing the well.

    Reply
    1. Admin Post author

      Hi Nic

      Thanks for the advice – you’re quite right about the dropout rates and monitoring schools and specific age cohorts more closely. I think the fact that only 20 per cent of 18 year olds are writing matric in Diepsloot points to the high levels of attrition between Grade 8 and Grade 12.

      Paul

      Reply
  3. Jessica Sherman

    Results may be affected by input by NGOs as well. I know of one – I think its called Olica or something like that and they’re doing good work in Diepsloot but not with matrics. I think they work with grade 8s and 9s.

    Reply

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