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Statistical Service to deploy 70,000 enumerators for census

BY: Kwadwo Baffoe Donkor

The government will deploy 70,000 enumerators for the national population and housing census (PHC) scheduled for April next year.

The Ashanti Regional Chief Statistician, Mr. Abekah Ansah, said the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic had triggered a postponement of the census, which had initially been scheduled to take place this year.

He said $90 million had been budgeted for the exercise, which he described as “very important and necessary for national development”.

World Statistics Day

Mr. Ansah made the disclosure at a symposium in Kumasi yesterday to mark World Statistics Day and International Year of Women in Statistics and Data Science.

The International Statistical Institute (ISI), in collaboration with the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis (LISA) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), organised the event to commemorate the day.

It was held on the theme: “Connecting the world with data we can trust”.

The participants in the symposium

Status of census

Mr. Ansah said the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) had started recruiting trainers who would, in turn, train enumerators and other field officers for the census.

He said unlike previous censuses, next year's census would apply technology, where all buildings would be mapped digitally to indicate their exact locations.

The application of technology was also expected to speed up the release of the census report, he said.

He said 50,000 tablets had been procured, while another 20,000 would be supplied by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which was supporting the government to undertake the exercise.

Mr. Ansah said the exercise was very important and necessary for planning and development purposes and encouraged all to get involved, saying: “Everyone counts and gets counted.”

Encouragement

The Head of the Statistics and Actuarial Science Department at the KNUST, Prof. Atinuke Olusola Adebanji, said the symposium was held for practitioners to deliberate and share ideas, as well as learn about best practices on how to obtain trusted data and how data could be analysed for various uses.

“Essentially, we want to know what the best practices are for developing, acquiring, managing and using data that we can trust and the best skills to employ in acquiring them,” she said.

Prof. Adebanji, who is also the Coordinator for LISA-KNUST, called for efforts to be made to encourage more girls to enrol onto courses in Mathematics and appealed to those who had traversed that path to serve as role models for young girls who aspired to higher heights in Science.

“Let’s encourage girls and women who have dared to take up Science as a career and encourage them to stay the course and make meaning of their lives,” she said.

“Currently, we have girls representing 20-30 per cent of enrolment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at the undergraduate level, and it is even worse when you get to the postgraduate stage,” she added.

She said the low representation of girls and women in Science was a challenge, and as a result networking became an issue, since there were not sufficient role models to encourage others along,” Prof. Adebanji said.