More than 111 students pursuing Master’s degrees and PhDs in different discipline at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) recently participated in a five days short course in statistics which intended to impart skills and knowledge on how to apply statistics in their research.
The training was organized by the Innovative Agricultural Research Initiative (iAGRI) in collaboration with Sokoine University Agriculture Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis (SUALISA) as one of the core activities undertaken to enhance efficiency to students taking various programs at SUA.
Dr. Benedict Kazuzuru, who is the coordinator and instructor of SUALISA said, MSc and PhD supervisors in different discipline at the university have inadequate knowledge in statistics, usually they confined to a particular discipline of statistics.
He also added to students “the semester systems does not allow time for them to practice statistics and the taught packages cannot allow them to effectively analyze research data for effective communication in decisions making, business and public policy,’’
‘’With SUALISA program SUA graduates will be able to address cross-cutting issues with regard to development, hence describing phenomena in our world and supporting in drawing reliable conclusions about those phenomena,’’ said Associate Collaborator Edwin Daniel from the Department of Biometric and Mathematics at Mazimbu Campus.
Joyce Christopher studying a master’s degree of Ecosystem Science and Management under the Department Ecosystems and Conservation says the training has been beneficial to her, because previously she did not know how to feed data in the SPSS software program and by testing various test like two paired t-test as the parametric test.
“Through training, I now have a deep understanding about statistics, I can now get involved in different issues that requires statistics knowledge such as planning of market strategy in business, and management of investment portfolios in finance”, she acknowledges.
The LISA 2020 Program was created in 2012 at Virginia Tech’s Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis (LISA) in the United States, mainly to build statistics capacity and research infrastructure in developing countries to help scientists and government use data to solve real-world problems and make decisions.
At SUA, SUALISA started its operations on 9th December 2014. Following the acceptance by SUA’s Administration, Faculty of Science and Department of Biometry and Mathematics and endorsed by senate. Worldwide, there five such labs, 3 in Nigeria, 1 in Ethiopia and 1 in Tanzania.