Wow, the past 8 weeks have been a real wild ride, what with the highly successful international GAJSMA championships hosted by AMSASA, and then of course our amazing trip to Japan.
Then, let’s tell you all about Japan.
This is a country that seriously needs to be on your bucket list. It is both beautiful and mystical. What an experience it was! Abacus Maths directors Quinnette Brits, and Beyers and Sharné Bresler, went to an abacus training camp. It was our fourth learning experience in Japan and our students’ third training camp.
Above: Hotel Tamakiya in Gunma Oze Prefecture
Our goal with all this travel? To bring you, our prized teachers, parents and students, the very best training in the world, right back here to your doorstep. We believe there is absolutely no reason why South Africa cannot have world-class students in world-class training facilities.
Firstly, we are super-duper proud of our South African team, who kicked some serious soroban butt on the 30th of September at the Birchwood Conference Centre in Boksburg, Johannesburg.
Here is a summary of our results for Team SA:
13 Super Champions
38 1st Gold places
53 2nd Silver places
63 3rd Bronze places
All we can say is: congrats to all our students! We are so proud of all of you! Thank you, and well done.
See the photos…
During the training, the South African contingent was impressed and also never failed to impress with their own progress. Our team stood mum as they saw how big calculations are done with a simple little abacus, while we were vexed and perplexed (in a good way) by how much our students improved after just 4 days. JC Roux, for example, got 100% out of a whopping 1,250 sums, winning in his division.
Above: Team SA enjoying the balmy weather
Our kids were also especially impressed with the Japanese, who are so far ahead of us in particularly Maths and Technology Studies. On the upside, this has inspired and motivated them to work that much harder, as they realise such amazing genius is also well within their grasp. Together with JC Roux, Jazlyn Ngwenya did really well too. Our other star, Omphile Maeko, also fared very ably, considering that she only started working with the abacus a scant 2 years ago when she was 11. Some of the Japanese kids have been using the abacus since they were 4, with abacus classes for 5 hours a week and an equal amount of practice at home.
You couldn’t wipe the beautifully infectious grins off our kids’ faces when they each got between 5 and 7 certificates on the last day, given to them because of their significant and speedy improvement following the training. They surprised themselves when they saw how well they had done, encouraged and inspired by their teachers and the international instructors.
Above: Our kids enjoying the training camp
We were really impressed with the way our kids carried themselves. They were united in their camaraderie towards each other, and their friendliness towards the other students. They had to live in humble circumstances on a mat on the floor, in shared rooms, with other kids from all over the globe. Our South African kids were an example of humility and gregarious knowledge acquisition. They were true ambassadors of all that is good about our beautiful country, mostly because of the amazing people.
Love, hugs and kisses to you all.
The Abacus Maths Team.