3000 motivated kids take up national abacus challenge at SIP Prodigy-2015

It was a day for tiny tots and kids in the seven to twelve year age group, approximately 3000 of them from about 400 schools spread across 20 Indian states, accompanied by 6000 parents, who excitedly took part in the 12th National SIP Prodigy Competition-2015 at the Expo Centre in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, on Sunday.

Organised by the Chennai-headquartered SIP Academy India (P) Ltd., which is the Indian arm of the Malaysia-based education group SIP Academy SDN-BHD, the event, saw both parents and kids at their motivational best in showcasing their unique mathematical competence.

While the majority of parents were forthcoming about presenting their children in the best possible light, their wards were naturally circumspect and shy, and barely voluble in expressing themselves, but nevertheless, were candid in admitting that taking part in the SIP Prodigy challenge had helped them to get better at math. Some honestly felt that they had become more intelligent.

Minister of State for Human Resource Development Ram Shankar Katheria, who was the chief guest at the nearly six-hour-long function, said, “This is very good way to promote young talent. The organizers and promoters have rendered a valuable service by inspiring these kids at their foundation stage.”

Apart from Katheria, Dinesh Victor, Managing Director, SIP India Academy, Malaysian entrepreneur and SIP founder Kelvin Tham were present.

“SIP Prodigy is an event which is spread all over India. This is an annual event where children and people come from all over India. The main motive of SIP is to motivate children. If the children are motivated, they will work hard and perform well,” Victor told ANI.

He further revealed that initially they were not sure what kind of impact the abacus program would have on these children when they graduate to the higher classes and to colleges.

“After 10 years down the line, we can see a very positive response from the students in college. Students who left SIP four to five years back have revealed that SIP has helped them not only in school but in college too,” he told ANI.

Jagjit Singh, the father of a nine-year-old son, said his ward started the abacus program two years ago, and he has seen a lot of mental improvement in the latter.

“He has become more confident and has started loving maths and science,” said a proud and beaming Singh.

“I always use to have a fear of Maths, but since I have started this abacus program, not only do I love the subject, but I am now confident of solving difficult problems easily now,” said Anandita, an SIP student.

Amandeep, another SIP student, said he believed the abacus program had given him an edge over other students in his school.

Kevin Tham, the founder of SIP, said he started the abacus program in 1996 because he had seen many students struggle with their studies.

He said, “I did a little bit of research and I discovered that abacus is one skill which can help a child perform better.”

“Today’s event is not about competition, it is more about coming together as a family. This is the best age (7-12) for children to acquire to all the positives,” Tham added.

The SIP Abacus programme is an international programme currently available in 12 countries. So far, it has benefited over 500,000 children across 900 learning centers.

In India, this program was first initiated in August 2003, and as of March 2015, over 325,000 children have benefitted from this programme across 20 states (Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Orissa, Pondicherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal).

The SIP has a strong network in India in 20 states (275 + cities and 625 + learning centres). At least 250 schools in the country are availing its various programmes.

The competition has featured four times in the Limca Book of National Records i.e. in 2005, 2007, 2010, and 2011. (ANI)