Learning Abacus has more to it - get children to really sharpen their minds!
Learning abacus is not just about improving mathematical skills, but an overall development of a child’s problem-solving skills. Abacus has now had a long and steady rack record of really sharpening young minds.
Ever imagined yourself learning the basic math – addition, subtraction – et al, as images, trying to put them one on top of the other. Guess, learning could have been so much better then. Well, that’s precisely what abacus centres teach a child. With many abacus centres opening up in Bangalore, many of which are franchises, it’s for sure how quickly this age-old tradition of learning abacus is picking up in a city like Bangalore.
Learning the abacus is considered to be excellent for overall brain development as it exercises both the hemispheres of human brain. It’s all about visualising images. Children, when enrolled for this course, are taught to picture the abacus in their minds. The figures that are to be calculated are visualised as beads on the abacus as opposed to numerals. Elaborating on the method, Nachiar P., who runs three UC MAS franchisees in the city, said, “It’s an excellent course for children. They, with the help of this course, not only learn and improve mathematical skills, but it also helps them enhance their problem solving skills in the long run. We have ten levels; each level compromising three months. Sometimes, if a child follows all the instructions given to him by the teachers, he can actually finish the level in less than three months. The problem comes when they are not following our instructions. Parents, too, intervene sometimes, which is something highly discourage.”
It is well proved that abacus learning helps in gaining mathematical skills. But, with abacus instruction, children can achieve much more than just excellent math skills. Abacus use can build confidence, provide a sense of achievement, promote intuitive thinking, enhance problem-solving capability, stimulate creativity, and improve concentration and mental endurance. “Abacus leaning is not just about learning maths, it’s not a concept, but a process, which can be utilized in other areas too. The learning helps them improve their analytical skills, and since it’s also about quickly they can solve a problem, the process sharpens their brain,” said Nachiar. So, when is the good time for a child to enrol himself for this course? “It can be anybody who knows numbers. We prefer children who are at least four years old, but, sometimes we have to reject them because they are too playful.”
Abacus is no more just a calculating tool for performing arithmetic processes. Students completing all the levels, which vary from ten to twelve, are finding it easy to crack competitive exams, mostly the one that involves mathematical skills. "Abacus is not only about mental maths but an overall personality development. It has helped me a lot so far," says Rima Kallal, a law student in one of the city colleges. Rima, who has recently appeared in one of the competitive exams, adds: “Learning abacus has helped me in many things so far, especially the exams that I have appeared till this day”. “It helped me in almost all the section of the preliminary exams that I have appeared recently.”
Abacus learning doesn't come with a big price. In a time when parents are willing to do every bit for a proper mental growth of their wards, 1.350 for a level doesn't seem a lot (a level comprises three months). Classes for most of the centres are held for two hours – once in a week, or may be twice at the most.