What would one expect to witness on a beautiful Sunday morning amidst the lush greenery at Navi Mumbai? Not the least a bunch of little champs competing at a gigantic competition! But certainly, it was electrifying to attend an event that saw over 3500 children participating in the 13th National Abacus and Mental Arithmetic Contest.
Well, the abacus is an old-school counting tool & personally when I was in school in Singapore, it was quite the ‘in thing’ to head for abacus classes. It was somewhat the hidden secret to being good at Mathematics!
Yesterday, on 20 November 2016, we at Spotlight, got a chance to see so many kids religiously participating in the contest which was held at the CIDCO Convention Centre in Vashi. There were two rounds. Each round had participants solving a set of 100 questions each using the abacus – and guess what? Some of them managed to crack these problems in less than 5 minutes!
Mr Sanjay Deshmukh, Vice Chancellor, Mumbai University graced the occasion and spoke about how such initiatives help build a student’s confidence and concentration capabilities.
Now the whole concept behind the educational event was to stimulate the mental math capabilities and concentration of children ranging in ages from 7 to 12 using the abacus technique. Participants were required to solve arithmetic problems as quickly as possible.
According to Dinesh Victor, owner of SIP Academy (India), the entire program was aimed at helping children develop problem solving skills that will last throughout their school life.
The event, that was being planned by the SIP Academy for nearly 5-8 months, saw a great turnout of participants – primarily teachers, parents & students belonging to 400 schools spread across 22 states in India.
Speaking of SIP Academy, the company is running various programmes ranging from global art, abacus and even phonics classes for children. So far, the academy has trained more than 4,80,000 children in the country. There’s also SIP Abacus that helps children to enjoy numbers, develop their mental skills of concentration, visual memory, listening and builds their self- confidence. The programme incorporates a lot of fun through games & puzzles. As of March 2015, more than 3,25,000 children have benefited from this programme across 20 states.
Lekha Ravikumar, Area head, Mumbai, SIP Academy India, added that SIP academy ensures that a child performs at least five times better in the subject once he or she enrolls into the academy and in case he/she fails to do, the academy would refund the fees.
On the whole, it was a great initiative by the organisers and we couldn’t stop marveling at young geniuses in action.
Spotlight wishes the academy and the students all the very best!
Photography & Coverage – Aarushi D’souza
Story & Edit – Ritwika Gupta