Launch: Jedeschule.de promotes transparency within the educational system in Germany

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School of Data Germany a project by Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland helps non-profit organisations, civil rights defenders and activists to understand and use data and technology effectively to increase their impact on societal challenges. Jedeschule.de is the outcome of our first partnership with BildungsCent e.V.. We explored what activities schools offer students beside general lessons and provided workshops for BildungsCent e.V. in which we addressed how to clean, analyse and visualize data. Together we campaign for more transparency in the educational sector and promote dialogues between stakeholders in educational policy.

The project: JedeSchule.de

Education is more than school lessons. Character and drive often develop outside the classroom. Public information on schools in Germany is sparse and not often available in a structured and organized format. Together with BildungsCent e.V., we investigated the availability and access of data on schools in Germany. The focus of our investigation: How is data on schools best communicated to the public? How does that affect the potential of schools to be important social hubs?

Findings of our analysis on:

Parents, students, teachers, politicians, and civil society organisations benefit from enhanced information on the German school system that are provided on Jedeschule.de. We provide an overview for more than 30,000 schools of general education in Germany. The interactive map makes it possible to search for and filter according to specific school types. The educational sector differs among the 16 German federal states. We gathered information on the development of each individual school systems, public spending within the educational sector, and the employment situation of teachers for each state. Moreover, we set up 3,000 profiles for schools in Berlin and Saxony containing mission statements, the number of students and teachers per school, study groups and cooperations between schools and actors from civil society, public departments, the private sector and other relevant stakeholders.

The data used in the project is available as open data on our website. We want to facilitate the use of educational data by journalists, politicians, scientists, the civic tech community, and stakeholders of educational policy.

Concluding remarks on school activities & cooperations in Berlin and Saxony:

  • 413 out of 800 general education schools in Berlin communicate their activities to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Family.
  • On average they provide eight activities in at least four areas such as environment, literature, handcraft, and technology besides regular lessons.
  • In Saxony, 1206 out of 1500 schools of general education report to the statistical office.
  • In total they offer 11,600 activities. On average this amounts to ten activities in five different areas per school.
  • Sporting activities are most prominent in both federal states. Partners from civil society and public affairs are the highest among schools in both states.

Schools promote the well-being and development of children and adolescents through diverse projects, partners, and activities. They are an important component of the livelihood and learning environment of students and provide an important perspective on society. To establish a holistic picture of the German school system and to increase transparency and the ability to compare federal states on educational matters, data has to be better collected, organised, and structured at the state level. Especially administrations need to improve their performance in order to foster an effective debate on the German school system.