Added by Annegrete Peek 2018/08/28
In this "Open Data and Data Journalism" blog post will look more closely at educational issues. The school year is about to begin and we will explore how popular private schools are. Here we look at the Estonian five year trend and also zoom in at the last school year.
This post is follow-up to the ERR August 23rd news "Private schools are gaining in popularity" (in Estonian). This news raised a number of questions. How fast has the growth been? Has the number of schools multiplied? Has the number of students multiplied? Has the growth been constant? Where are private schools?
To answer these questions, I use the data of the Estonian Education Information System (EHIS) of the Ministry of Education and Research. The data in the post is the data for the last five academic years.
In the 2013/2014 academic year children attended 48 private schools, in the 2017/2018 academic year, the number of active private schools increased to 58 schools. Has the number of public schools also increased? No. For a clearer picture let’s look at the percentages.
The number of private schools and students in them has increased by 20% over five years. Proportion of private schools in 2013/2014 academic year was 9%, five years later it was 11%. In these five years, the number of students has increased from 5% to 6%.
Interesting is drop in 2016/2017 school year. There are schools closed and new ones opened, but this decline was caused one of the largest schools in Estonia - Keila School. Keila School was changed from a private school to a municipal school.
Let's take a closer look at the previous academic year and locations of private schools.
In the last academic year there were three counties (Hiiu, Jõgeva, Lääne counties) with no private schools. The largest share of private schools is 21% in Harjumaa, while in other counties the share of private schools is between 5% and 12%.
Lääne-Virumaa does not stand out due to the high proportion of private schools, but many students went to private schools. At the same time percentage of private schools in Võrumaa was higher but only 2% of students studied there. In fact, in both counties there were 3 private schools.
In addition, private schools are popular among primary schools. For students with special needs, there are higher percentage of private schools than for regular students (18% vs. 11%). In general schools that operate in another language (for example, English or Finnish) are also private schools.
Although the popularity of private schools has not multiplied, the growth has been steady. We'll see how long this rise will last.