Infusing abacus to modern curriculum

Say Tola / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Ms Chitra Peechapat, vice president of I.A.M.A international, shows students and teachers how to use the abacus. KT/Say Tola

The intellectual development of an individual starts on the first five years of his life. It is but crucial that at this stage, a child is guided accordingly and is given the right environment, learning facilities and support that he needs for him to attain his full potential.

In Cambodia, a country where a major part of the population is under 22, this intellectual development should be handled the best way possible. How the country’s children learn and develop defines what the future of the entire nation holds.

Having understood this, the Western International School recently signed a memorandum of understanding with I.A.M.A Cambodia to inculcate the latter’s child brain development programme to all the students in Western International’s 16 branches.

I.A.M.A brought the ancient calculating tool called “abacus” to Cambodia earlier this year, to help Cambodian students find the easiest and best way to solve arithmetic. At present, the programme has been implemented in 81 schools. And to build up the focus of students and awaken their minds, the programme involves an effective meditation exercise, which is currently practiced by students from 4 to 14 years old.

The abacus is a counting frame used as a calculating instrument in many parts of Europe, China and Russia centuries ago. The frame is usually made of bamboo, with beads or stones sliding on wires. Though abacus comes in different designs, it is mainly used to teach arithmetic. It can perform basic operations like addition and multiplication, as well as calculating square roots.

Ek Sok Thavorn, president of I.A.M.A Cambodia, told students and teachers during the signing of the MoU with Western International School, that the reason he ambitiously aimed for the abacus programme to be instilled in Cambodian academic curriculum is his hope that the young people in the country will soon excel in decision-making, problem-solving, and eventually in building a strong and solid foundation for their academic journey.

“By implementing this programme to young people, I expect to see them be able to calculate mathematics very quickly, have sharp memory, develop good listening skills and self-confidence when they make any decision,” said Mr Thavorn.

Under Secretary of State of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, Soeur Socheata, emphasised that the Cambodian’s government has always been thinking on reforms to strengthen the education system for it to be at par with other nations’ curriculum, and be able to compete with other international students.

“The government is demanding to see all the private institutions to ensure quality of education and produce qualified human resources for Cambodia in the future.”

President of Western International School, Te Lorin, showed his enthusiasm in the school’s partnership with I.A.M.A Cambodia as his envisions his students to be more intelligent and flexible after fully implementing this new programme. He also showed his gratefulness to the effort of teachers in guiding students to adapt to the abacus method.

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