The University of Liberia (UL) in partnership with the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services, (LISGIS) has announced a degree program for students interested in statistics.
The move by the University, which is supported by the World Bank is the first of its kind since established in 1956. The World Bank’s support comes under the Harmonizing and Improving Statistics in West Africa (HISWA).
“The growth and quality of technology in Liberia hinge on the application of well-structured mathematics programs that are particularly focused on the development of young people to fill the gap,” said Joyce Nganfuan, the project coordinator. “As a result, the need for improving statistics, the bachelor of science degree in statistics was born.”
According to Mrs. Nganfuan, the new degree program comes at a time when Liberia is experiencing a huge human resource gap in mathematics and other mathematics-related fields of study, thus impeding evidence-based research in Liberia as well as the proper collection and analysis of data to drive interferences about the behavior of such a system
Mrs. Nganfuan added these gaps are essentially depriving the country of meaningful development because mathematics is so mystified to the extent that students dare see it as a key human development science.
“The stack realization presents a daring need for a robust intervention through tailored short and long-term programs to improve and attract deserving scholars to this field. Mathematics permeates every field of applied science including; engineering, economics, finance, and health among other fields,” Mrs. Nganfuan said.
In remarks, UL President Dr. Julius Zarwolo Nelson expressed gratitude to the partners for the support which has come to the realization of the program today at the university.
Dr. Nelson in an exciting tone told the public that the UL authority will continue to the partnership with national institutions to ensure that they respond to the national need across the country and fill in those existing gaps which he believes will contribute to the Pro-Poor Development for Prosperity and Development.
“Students who will complete the statistics program will gain competence in such topics as descriptive statistics, estimation, confidence intervals, probability, and inferential techniques, simple and multiple regression, analysis of variance, and more advanced topics which will make their skills available in the science of inductive inference for research, industrial and social organization by playing an important part in solving problems of science and practical life,” Dr. Nelson said.
He described the partnership program between the UL and LISGIS as the fruit of a renewed working relationship as they go forward to the future. “Therefore, today I want to encourage all of you here to be part of the recruitment team. I want to send out an SOS call for new graduates to take advantage of the opportunity,” he added.
The Director-General at LISGIS, Prof. Francis Wreh, also described the partnership as a major milestone achievement ever. Prof Wreh also indicated that both institutions are expected to work together to build the capacity of the National Statistical System (NSS) of Liberia.
“Our vision for the NSS office is to build a vibrant statistical system in the country compared to others around the African region and the world at large,” he noted.
He added that the bachelor’s degree in statistics when inaugurated will be followed in subsequent years by the offering of the Master’s degree as well as the Doctorate degree in statistics. However, Prof Wreh said in order to achieve this goal, and for the sustainability of the program in statistics at the university, potential candidates have to be vetted and sent out under the HISWA project for further studies and upon completion to join the UL faculty.
He also disclosed that the government in partnership with the World Bank planned to support and strengthening the country’s statistics system.