The Study of Statistics Should be Included in the Basic School Curriculum


The field of statistics is the science of learning from data. Statistical knowledge helps you use the proper methods to collect the data, employ the correct analyses, and effectively present the results. Statistics is a crucial process behind how we make discoveries in science, make decisions based on data, and make predictions. Statistics allows you to understand a subject much more deeply.

The word statistics, generally, may be used in a singular or plural sense. In the plural sense, the term statistics is used to indicate numerical facts systematically collected, processed, analysed and summarized. That is, statistics is a collection of numerical data as it is used in the statement "the statistics (meaning data) for example, we may have statistics on production, sales, population, accidents, exports, imports, etc. The term statistics has another meaning, which refers to the quantities, or measures that are obtained from sample data.

When we use the word statistics we mean the subject itself, the body of knowledge used in making sense of data. Thus statistics is concerned with methods for collecting, organizing, summarizing, presentating and analyzing data as well as making valid conclusions about the characteristics of the source from which the data were obtained. The objective of most statistical study is to make inference about a population based on information contained in a sample and to provide an associated measure of goodness for the inference. 

The study of statistics should be included in the basic school curriculum from upper primary to Senior High school level, this will enable students acquire knowledge and skills in investigating and analyzing data. Data collection in the country has been a major headache for the state, with the introduction of free secondary education, majority of Ghanaians recommended that, government should identify students who parents cannot afford to pay fees and make secondary education free for such students, lack of data on students whose parents cannot afford to pay fees has made the secondary education free for all, both the rich and the poor are all enjoying free secondary education. 

Another important tool, which provides good analysis of any situation (in Science, Education, Business or in everyday life), which in some way involves an element of uncertainty or chance is Probability Theory. It is the study of measure of uncertainty and the risk associated with it. 

Statistics plays an important role in almost all area of science, education, business and industry. Persons employed in these areas need to know the basic concepts, strength and limitation of statistics. 

Specifically statistics is studied to know how: to evaluate published numerical facts, when to believe or reject them, to employ scientific methods of analysis to make inference or interpret the results of surveys, to seek the best method for analysing data and making an inference for a given sampling situation, to analyze data collected. 

This science can help us understand our past and make predictions about the future. Using statistics, we can analyze data in different fields to monitor changing patterns, then use this analysis to draw conclusions and make forecasts.

Data, as earlier noted, are numerical facts and figures from which conclusions can be drawn. Such conclusions are important to the decision-making process of many professions and organizations.

By Nedved