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Closing South Africa’s data analytics skills gap

DURBAN – HUNDREDS of South African teachers are to be provided with the knowledge and tools to inspire their students to pursue careers in data analytics.

Global analytics leader, SAS, has partnered with three South African universities to launch the teacher training initiative, dubbed Teachers4DataAnalytics programme.

It is the first programme of this nature, scale and size focused on secondary schoolteachers and learners to be launched in a SAS operational region outside the United States.

“We are exceptionally proud of and excited about the Teachers4DataAnalytics programme,” said Andre Zitzke, Manager: Global Academic Programmes in Africa for SAS.

Zitzke said the aim is to empower teachers with the knowledge and tools
to be better placed to reach more students, encourage their curiosity
and provide them with exposure on practical applications behind the
curricula in science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM)

Despite one-third of South African university graduates and almost 60 percent of learners who successfully complete grade 12 failing to find jobs and meaningful employment, a massive skills shortage in technical sectors persists.

In addition, economies are digitalising rapidly, creating roles for entrants with data analytics and statistical skills is vital.

Prof. Delia North, former Dean and Head of the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, for the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) conceptualized the Teachers4DataAnalytics programme.

North teamed up with Professor Christine Franklin, a world renowned expert and leader in teacher training, for the programme.

The inaugural teacher workshop was recently held at UKZN.

The Teachers4DataAnalytics programme will take the workshop format on a roadshow to the University of the North-West and the University of the Western Cape before the year’s end.

The workshops will leverage thought leaders from the South African Statistical Association Education Committee and the American Statistical Association to provide enriching learning material on SAS DataFly as the foundation technology.

– CAJ News

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