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The 2017 SASA Conference will be hosted by the University of Free State from 27 - 30 November 2017 at Ilanga Estate, Bloemfontein. Details here.

Why Statistics At School

Statistics at School level in South Africa

South Africa is currently developing and implementing a new school curriculum. Curriculum 2005 (C 2005) has outcomes based education (OBE) as fundamental building block. and   recognises the cross curricular need for data handling as an anticipated outcome. This results in vast amounts of statistical material being included throughout the various phases of the new school curriculum .

Historically very little (hardly any!) data handling was done at school level, but all that is set to change: Mathematics teachers with little or no training in Statistics will be embarking on a path that will ensure that the school leaver in South Africa is statistically literate.
 
 
Statistics at School level in South Africa 
 
The South African Statistical Association (SASA) has been actively involved in the process of training teachers by presenting talks and setting up workshops. In this way SASA assists teachers to ensure that we move towards the goal: statistically literacy for school leavers in South Africa. The following questions are often asked at our “SASA Outreach to School Teachers” workshops: 
 
Q: What exactly is Data Handling or Statistics?
A: Put as simply as possible, I would say “making sense of numbers”, i.e. understanding what conclusions we can draw in situations where we are dealing with data (numerical  readings) 
 
Q: Why should Data Handling be in the school syllabus?
A: There are many reasons, a few obvious ones are:
 
a. Statistics is an integral part of our culture
 
To be prepared for the world our learners need to be able to
· interpret surveys
· understand uncertainty 
· present and make decisions based on data
· estimate, even when the result is inaccurate.
 
Above all learners need to develop skills to enable them to live in a statistical atmosphere and not be mislead or blinded by statistical facts!