Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has recently supported a project from Hanamaru Lab, Inc. to give tablets to selected primary schools in Cambodia and encourage the usage of a new Mathematics learning app called Think!Think!.
Daiki Watanabe, Asian Regional Manager of Hanamaru Lab said that the tablets were distributed to five different places in the country since the end of May. The project aims to determine the efficacy of the new app Think! Think! on the learning conditions and progress of students in Math.
“During the testing phase, I saw that students were happy to learn Mathematics through the app. It helps them love the subject and learn faster. The students here are very clever, they’re already masters of the app in just a short time,” said Mr Watanabe.
The Ministry of Education also helped in making sure the app gets a success rate among primary schools. Teachers from private schools were trained on the fast and proper way of using the app before they were sent to public primary schools to teach children.
“If the project continues to be successful, we plan to expand this to more places, schools and give out more tablets in the coming years. We are hopeful that the Ministry of education will continue to collaborate with us for more years in spreading knowledge to Cambodian students,” Mr Watanabe added.
To test if the app is helping students learn Mathematics, their knowledge will be tested twice – one before they start using the app and one after they finish the short Math course.
Yasuhara Hiroto, project formulation advisor of JICA, said that the organisation supports primary education in Cambodia by cooperating with other external organisations in providing quality and better learning strategies. He added that JICA needs to collaborate with private sectors to widen their scope in promoting the importance of primary education.
“Hanamaru Lab is a very experienced technology company in Japan, and their app is every popular. This app is number one. We all believe that education should be well spread across the entire country and everyone should be given the chance to study, we want students to have access to fast and easy learning through this app,” Mr Hiroto said.
Mr Hiroto expected that the project for five schools will yield positive results. He said that the company is able to apply another support to spread to 25 to 30 more schools in the future.
Ros Roya, one of the teachers trained to teach the Think! Think! app at Krapeu Ha primary school in Ta Khmav, Kandal province, said she personally believes the app is useful and helpful for students. Through the app, children will be more interested in studying Math and will be encouraged to have creative and critical way of thinking.
“If we look at it in plain sight, we’d think that it’s just a pure game. But it’s not. This Math game will help students think fast and solve problems more accurately. I know students are not really very interested in the subject but after I introduced the app to them, they started to want to know more about addition, subtraction and prolem-sovling,” Ms Roya shared.
The teacher continued that the tablets given by Hanamaru Lab does not, in any way, interfere with the students learning of other significant subjects in school. The app is only taught for half an hour, and does not affect writing and other classes. The teachers are also trained to push for responsible usage of the tablets among students, so as to ensure that the app is used to its maximum potential.
Think!Think! app is developed exclusively for developing thinking ability in early childhood. It is globally recognised, and has even won fifth place for the Best App for Kids category at the Google Play Awards in 2017. It is designed to enhance the user’s spatial recognition ability and logical/mathematical thinking power. Even for ten minutes a day only, the app is sure to create positive impact to a child as he starts learning Mathematics.