By Ibrahim Ruhweza
Makerere University Business School (MUBS) has expressed concern over the high failure rate of statistics students.
Prof. Moses Muhwezi, the deputy principal at the college of statistics, said before the pandemic, students used to perform well, but the situation has changed.
Muhwezi told New Vision at MUBS that immediately after the pandemic, the performance rate slowed down, and this affected organisations that employ statisticians.
“When we introduced online learning due to COVID-19, students had challenges with connectivity and navigation. Students have a phobia for mathematics, lack confidence in doing statistics, and also have a poor reading culture,” he said.
Muhwezi said statistics needs attention, but most of the students spend their time on social media instead of concentrating on the course.
He was speaking at the Business Statistics Day organised by students of the Business Students Statistics Association under the theme, Harnessing Statistics in the Changing Business Environment, on August 8.
Muhwezi explained that statistics were introduced to assist policymakers by providing statistical models for decision-making and predicting the likely outcomes of policy proposals.
“Modern regulatory agencies could not function without the services of statisticians,” he added.
Kennedy Owamazima, a third-year student, said statistics is a very practical programme and some students don’t attend lectures to learn the concept.
He stated that students tend to have a bias in mathematics, which could be among the factors contributing to poor results.
Muhwezi advised the university to find a better means of boosting the performance of students by engaging them.
“The university should make mathematics more interesting like other subjects,” he said. “At times, students get bored, and that results in poor performance.”
Muhwezi also revealed that to boost performance, the university has embarked on providing tutorials and business magazines to students after every class.
He stated that students used to teach their colleagues after classes, but the discussants would not know much; however, they would be able to understand more with tutorials and business magazines.
“The university is planning to introduce magazines for business so that students get more knowledge about businesses,” Muhwezi explained.
“Students will be able to get a deeper understanding even if the lecturer is not with them. Let’s link students to our potential employers because it is our role,” he said.