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Poster 11-6 Teaching Statistics in Secondary and High Schools in Lesotho

Makhala B. Khoeli (Lesotho)


Poster Abstract

Statistics is a meaningful and useful science with a wide and almost limitless scope of application to our daily life activities such as activities in the family, business, government, private sectors and NGOs. Most of the decision and plans in these activities are based on either statistical inference or descriptive statistics. However in some cases persons or bodies concerned are not aware that their decisions are based on statistics.

Many students do believe that statistics is a very difficult subject governed by mysterious notation and calculations that are difficult to understand. This believe contributes to their poor performance in the subject. There is a need to increase the dose on the little statistics taught in secondary and high schools in Lesotho and also to engage teachers that are qualified statisticians in teaching statistics. In most cases one would find that the few statistics topics included in the mathematics text books are taught by teachers who did not lay their hands on any of the statistical courses or who did only one introductory course in statistics. The content in statistics that is covered in the secondary and high schools mathematics text books looks very shallow. Concepts of statistics covered by books are few with little emphasis on their interpretation.

In lecturing first year students some introductory statistics courses, experience has shown that the amount of statistics covered in high schools is just too little. Students come to join tertiary education with a narrow knowledge of statistics so much that they perceive it as a new subject altogether. The presentation will basically assess the depth and the adequacy of the content in statistics included in the mathematics text books for secondary and high schools and find whether the content is all covered before students complete their high school education that prepares them to join tertiary education. It will also assess the qualifications and background of the teachers teaching statistics in secondary and high schools.



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