On Schools and Survival: A look at dropout rates in the Philippines (EduData Part 1)

education dataviz government

In what grade level are students most likely to drop out? Are females or males more likely to stay in school? We’ll explore delays and dropouts in the Philippine education system with data from the Department of Education in this first installment of the EduData series.

TJ Palanca https://www.twitter.com/tjpalanca

This post also appears on GMANews SciTech section!

This article is part the EduData series, which explores the state of the Philippine education system, and what we could do to make it better.

EduData Series

Education is one of the cornerstones of development, particularly in a country where majority of the population is of school age. Luckily, the Department of Education has released tons of data that allows us to shed light on the state of the Philippine education system. For the first post in this series, we will focus on dropouts and where, grade level-wise and geographically, they occur.

Swimming against the tide

What percentage of students that enter Grade 1 are likely to graduate high school? We first compute the survival and dropout rates over time. The cumulative survival rate (top panel) is the proportion of the Grade 1 class that is expected to graduate high school. The single-year dropout rate (bottom panel) is the attrition of the class for that particular grade level.

By Time

There are some things we can say about the data:

By Gender

Let’s also flip the facets and compare the cumulative survival rates and dropout rates by gender.

There are a couple of very interesting findings from this chart:

If we were to learn from this data, we could make the following recommendations:

By Location

Broad averages can conceal a lot of information, and there may be large disparities in dropout rates in different parts of the country. Let’s take a look at the geographic distribution of dropout rates and determine whether there any any ‘hotspots.’

The conflict-torn Zamboanga-ARMM region has always been plagued by survival rates as low as 10%. The situation has not get any better over time. In recent years, however, Eastern Visayas has grown into a significant hotspot, probably due to migration out of the region and exacerbated by the effects of typhoons, especially Yolanda. The effect in Eastern Visayas is more pronounced for males than females. A small hotspot is also developing for males in Central Luzon.

If this is the state of the Philippine education system, what can we suggest?

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Text and figures are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Source code is available at https://www.github.com/tjpalanca/tjpalanca.github.io, unless otherwise noted. The figures that have been reused from other sources don't fall under this license and can be recognized by a note in their caption: "Figure from ...".


For attribution, please cite this work as

Palanca (2015, Aug. 26). TJ Palanca: On Schools and Survival: A look at dropout rates in the Philippines (EduData Part 1). Retrieved from https://www.tjpalanca.com/posts/2015-08-26-edudata-1-dropouts/

BibTeX citation

  author = {Palanca, TJ},
  title = {TJ Palanca: On Schools and Survival: A look at dropout rates in the Philippines (EduData Part 1)},
  url = {https://www.tjpalanca.com/posts/2015-08-26-edudata-1-dropouts/},
  year = {2015}