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Community solution: Developing youth data literacy

Updated: Jun 18


Participant sharing feedback for the workshop

The Data4Impact team completed its workshop on Introduction to Data Literacy and Scholarship Preparation. Data4Impact is one of the four initiatives selected for the Community Solution Awards from Parami University. The project is run by four sophomore students who are also members of the student-led ‘Datalliance’ club at Parami University. The project focuses on introduction topics such as data science, data literacy, and scholarship preparation.


The two-day Data4Impact workshop was held with students from Cherry Myay Academy (CMA). CMA is a community-based institution that offers a two-year diploma program in Social and Development Studies, boasting a diverse and inclusive student body represented by many ethnicities in states and regions of Myanmar. The Data4Impact selected the students from the CMA students as they believe they have the potential for higher education. However, they still have difficulties accessing resources due to the lack of information, as they also come from underprivileged areas. 



Three distinguished guest speakers were invited to share their knowledge: Dr. Myo Thida, assistant professor of computer science, Bard College - Simon Rock, Ma Hayman Linn Lae Zaw, master student of social work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, US, and Ko Okkthohn Aung: bachelor student of economics at Chiang Mai University, Thailand. 


The importance of the data role in society 

The role of data has become important with the rise of technology, electronic communications, and global economics. Many people, businesses, and governments utilize data for multiple purposes, from examining one’s daily routines to extracting business insights to increase sales. 

“As a response to the widespread utilization of data, many countries are training young people in data literacy and cultivating them to become data professionals so that they are ready for the future. In the meantime, it is unfortunate that Myanmar is in the midst of several crises, and young people are being left behind when it comes to data science education. The risk of Myanmar being left out of the data movement in the global world concerns the equality of resources and knowledge not only for the global but also for the local interests." Data4Impact

They added that in response to this massive, fast-paced change of data in the current digital landscape, the youths bursting into different roles in society must have a strong data literacy and insights as a basis to be able to contribute effectively to the community by the trend progressing in the world. the data revolution demands the proactive learning and engagement of not only the data practitioners but also the public who are in touch with data in their digital presence, as the development often comes with both benefits and risks. Whether the youths plan to pursue a career in data-related jobs or not, data, as often noted as “the new oil” of the 21st century, requires the youths to be well-prepared and equipped with data literacy for workplace readiness for their future careers. 


Minimizing the knowledge gap in data through educating and empowering

To provide all the relevant knowledge and resources to the participants under the Introduction to Data Literacy and Scholarship Preparation. The first part, Data literacy, has three categories: knowledge of the role of data becoming crucial day by day, the role of data in the daily life of everyone, and how data is used in business with the rise of technology, electronic communications, and global economics. The second part, the scholarship preparation, covers information on exchange programs, workshops, scholarships, and scholarship-winning tips shared by the project team members, Parami students, and two guest speakers. 


“This act of awareness raising paved the way for educating the participants about the fundamental meanings of data science and its use in different fields, which consequently raised participants’ knowledge about what data science is. To delve further into data and data science, we arranged a data science webinar for them. That helped solidify their understanding and ignite their interest in data further. One outcome we highly expect from the participants is data awareness in this 21st century. It is our expectation that our project deepens their understanding of data and its existence in our lives,” the team expresses.

In the second part of the workshop, the team members shared exchange and capability programs such as the YSEALI Academic Program, Myanmar Youth Leadership Program (MYLP), Learning across Border (LAB), etc. 


Through the project, participants have a deep understanding and comprehensive knowledge of data and data science. They become confident to a great extent in preparing for and applying for scholarships. They become aware of opportunities they can grab that are helpful for their personal and professional development and are empowered to grab them.


A group photo of CMA students and Data4Impact team from Parami University

"The impression of the workshop was that it was a feedback session that motivated me to keep holding such empowering events in the future. One participant’s feedback reads, “This Data4Impact workshop is the best workshop that I have ever attended while she is staying at Cherry Myay, knowing how data can shape our decision-making, getting enough confidence to apply for a scholarship.” We feel really proud of our implementation when we know our efforts perfectly align with the participants’ needs." (Ei Mon Soe, a member of Data4Impact)


"This project easily exceeds my expectations. It was great to work together with teammates who are reliable and hardworking. The participants were full of energy and actively participated in every session. They were interested and willing to learn about the importance of data and scholarships. I am glad to be a part of this project and contribute to the development of their understanding and awareness about data as well as confidence to apply for scholarships." (Ming Thet Paing, a member of Data4Impact)


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