PEK organises a training workshop

News   Mercy Garnet   November 21, 2018
PIC: Kumwenda- "Tease and whip the data until it talks"
PEK consultancy in collaboration with the Polytechnic Students Union, School of Data, and UNESCO, organized a Pro Workshop for students as well as college graduates on November 17 and 18, 2018. The event took place in the Polytechnic WET 3 building and Main Lecture Theatre, respectively under the theme, `Be a Pro Workshop`.

Save Kumwenda, Phillip Banda, Khumbo Kalulu, Sarah Khudze and Limbani Kalumbi made presentations on academic writing, quantitative and qualitative data analysis.

According to Kumwenda who is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Environmental Health, data in research means something raw which you can record. He pointed out that data analysis is done  to produce an outcome in research. Kumwenda reminded the participants some steps in research processes such as developing a research topic, data collection, and data analysis among others. 

He observed that to come up with valid results, gathering as much information as possible on a research topic is crucial.  Kumwenda stressed that research should be based on things that are happening out there and not assumptions.

The expert further explained that a good researcher comes up with a new research topic and explains things that seem to be normal in a different way. 

"Tease and whip the data until it talks and gives you the right answers and then be able to explain whatever you want to explain in your research" Kumwenda emphasized.

Kalulu who is Senior Lecturer in Environmental Sanitation under the Department of Environmental Health gave practical aspects of quantitative data analysis using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). He trained the participants on how to enter and clean data using the software. 

"Using a software to analyse data removes subjectivity and brings in objectivity of the research findings," Kalulu said.

One of the participants, a third year Polytechnic student studying Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health, Innocent Mndala said the  training had borne the desired fruit.

"The training has equipped me with skills on both qualitative and quantitative data. It has assisted me on how best I can collect, clean, enter, and analyze data, and also how I can interpret and present the results. The training has come at a good time as I am preparing for my final year project," Mndala explained.

According to PSU president Japhet Nthala, the Pro Workshop was organized after seeing the need to educate students on matters they cannot avoid in their academic journey, and help college graduates to improve their professional efficiency.

"The Workshop was partially successful because the presentation did not give out the full package of what PEK prepared because of time. But I am double sure that the participants benefited from what was presented," Nthala noted. 

The remaining part of the presentation is  going to be covered on a date to be communicated . 

"We agreed with the participants that we will take them through SPSS in detail on a later date," Phillip Banda a data analyst said. 

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