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2,600 prodigal kids dazzle in Abacus math contest

By EMN Updated: Nov 24, 2014 12:15 am

Bengaluru, November 23

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]bout 2,600 boys and girls from 15 states across the country Sunday participated in the 11th edition of the national Abacus, brain gym and mental arithmetic competition SIP Prodigy 2014 here.
Organised by SIP (Sociable Intellectual Progressive) Academy India Ltd, the day-long contest witnessed the kids in 7-12 years age group using a palm-sized wooden frame with 65 beads in five sliding rows to add, subtract, multiply and divide 125 sums in a record 12 minutes at a convention centre in the city.Originating in Mesopotamia over 4,900 years ago during the Babylonian civilisation and spreading across Europe, Africa and West Asia to China over the centuries, the rectangular-shaped counting frame was a calculating tool extensively used by traders before the modern numeral system came into vogue.
Dressed in orange T-shirts and white shots or skirts and seated in rows of tables across the sprawling hall, the kids were a picture of concentration and self-confidence in doing the sums at three levels, using first their prized Abacus tool and continuing the exercise without pause through the visual and mental rounds.
Of the total participants, 1,400 were from Bengaluru and other cities across the host state Karnataka, while the remaining 1,200 came calling from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Jharkhand, Kerala, Maharashtra, Delhi and the National Capital Region, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
“The young students from various schools in diverse states across the country were tested on their concentration, confidence, intelligence, speed and accuracy,” SIP India Academy managing director Dinesh Victor told IANS on the occasion.
Held in second half of every calendar year since 2003 across the country, the hotly contested event featured four times in the Limca Book of National Records for the maximum number of kids participating in its brainy exercise, which starts with an inward and outward massage to stimulate the right and left hemispheres of their brains.
“The enthusiasm of the kids to participate in the national contest is overwhelming. It is heartening to see the competitive spirit amongst them and their self-confidence, which is essential for life,” Dinesh said.
The Academy held in Bengaluru its first international Abacus competition in 2005 and the eighth national Abacus contest in 2011.
A special brain gym workshop was also conducted at the event by Malaysian expert Daphnie Wong to help the kids and their parents energise, de-stress and activate their brain because “a relaxed mind will always learn better”.
“Indian children have been showing tremendous improvement in their skills over the years, as evident from their performance in the recent international event in Malaysia, where all the nine participating Indian kids won prizes, with five of them being champions,” SIP Academy founder Kelvin Tham told IANS.
The Chennai-based SIP Academy is the only Indian Abacus firm to conduct the international Abacus and mental arithmetic contests across the country and overseas.
It has 570 franchise centres across the country spanning metros, cities and towns, where 270,00 students of primary schools are trained to use the Abacus calculating device with both hands to stimulate their brain, motivate and instill self confidence to compete and succeed in life.
“Our programme integrates brain gym exercises with the Abacus methodology known as mental arithmetic and maximizes the potential of a child’s brain,” Kelvin added.
The SIP programme, which guarantees five times improvement in a child’s mental calculative skills, is offered in 12 countries worldwide to about 500,000 kids.

By EMN Updated: Nov 24, 2014 12:15:14 am