As part of efforts to prepare children for mathematical challenges, Educraft Nigeria Limited recently held the maiden Abacus Lagos Schools Competition, which saw
Redeemers International Schools (RIS), Apapa emerging the first position.
The representatives of the school defeated two other schools, Devine Children Place and Epitome Kiddies Care School, which emerged second and third positions respectively to be honoured with the most prestigious SIP Abacus School.
Devine Children Place, won the Most Supportive and Loyal SIP Abacus School, while Epitome Kiddies Care School was recognised as the Most Progressive SIP Abacus School.
Speaking at the grand finale, the Managing Director of Educraft Limited, Mr. Napoleon Omiunu said the competition was designed to improve the ability of students in mathematics, adding that it is all about building talents and confidence, determination in students so that they can capture mathematical challenges and put them under control.
He said many schools across the state started the competition, but the number was pruned down to three which competed at the grand finale, sponsored by Unilever Nigeria Plc; SIP Academy Malaysia and SIP Academy America.
“These schools were not the only ones that participated in the abacus competition. The course is very outstanding and the aim is to tell the world about the uniqueness of SIP Abacus to other kinds of abacus. It prepares the child world numbers such that would enable them tackle mathematical challenges with precision.”
Although, there was no cash reward at the maiden edition, medals, trophies and plaques were presented to the winners of each category of the competition.
Omiunu however pointed out that in the coming editions, there could be incentives and scholarships awards and that SIP Academy in Malaysia will grace the occasion.
“It is a low-key certification and it not about the crowd, but about the task and the talent and confidence, determination to capture mathematical challenges and put them under control.”
He said his organisation is the sole franchise holder of SIP Academy Malaysia worldwide, just as he noted that they cut across every nook and cranny of Nigeria.
“We want to use this competition as a leveller to ensure that whatever American and Asian students enjoy in SIP, we enjoy it here too in Nigeria.
“For instance, Harvard is interested in our scholars. Aisha Mohammed, who came second last three years, is now in Harvard and she will graduate very soon. What that means is that we want to replicate that in Nigeria. Our Nigerian students are good. When they go to West African competitions, they come out in flying colours.”
He said his organisation has been having a conversation with most of the schools on abacus training, adding that so far those who can afford it are already benefiting from it while there are still some that are putting their house in order to get involved.
“As a matter of fact, we listed over 1,000 schools in Lagos, some have called us for presentations while others are still promising to engage us later. Those who can afford it run with us but those who can’t are making efforts to be part of the SIP abacus learning.”
He advised schools in Nigeria to imbibe the culture of abacus Maths and Brain Gym classes for children so as to completely eradicate the phobia associated with calculating big numbers.
With these value placements, he said it enables the children to do calculation in a way that saves time since they now have to work with basic tense units of hundreds and thousands number placements.
Emphasising that abacus optimises and integrates the functions of the left and right brain during the early years, Omiunu said, “Abacus is a calculating device that can help children beat the challenges of calculating and working with big numbers. Abacus has pencilled down the truth that children are scared of big numbers. So what abacus does is to break these big numbers to figures and put them in value placements so that you can begin to work with it in a way that it will save time. With that, the children will be able to work the basic tense units of hundreds and thousands number placements and their calculations will be easier.”
He said abacus which costs about N15,000 is designed for children between the age of five and12 because that is the period when the child’s mind and brain form
“At that age, use of abacus stimulates the nerves in the fingers and sends messages through the neurons.”