The headline to this article has been the question of the century! We always hear people saying that the Egyptian child is the most talented and smartest child of all but we rarely see the proof. In this issue, we’ve met with children who proved us right. Those Egyptian children got the highest records in the biggest International Mental Math Competition that took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. With 2000 kids participating from more than 13 countries, the Egyptian child competed and won!
“With 2000 kids participating from more than 13 countries, the Egyptian child competed and won!”
IMA is a program which uses Abacus and Mental-Arithmetic which is the world’s best method of learning calculating skill. The Chinese abacus has five-thousand-year cultural history. It is known as the fifth great invention and a valuable cultural heritage. The Abacus and Mental Arithmetic method is an exercise done using the brain and fingers together. When our fingers are operating the Abacus, similarly our brain is also at work. The faster we use our fingers, the faster our brain works. The program enriches the child’s concentration more and helps him/her to be able to solve any mathematical problem. It also develops the listening and visual capabilities and makes him/her able to concentrate more. The program doesn’t increase a child’s IQ, it rather makes him/her reach the maximum capacity of it. From 3 years to 12 years children can start attending IMA classes. The program provides various activities for memory. These activities can make the child learn different languages faster than any child and makes him a better observant.
We met with instructors from IMA who told us about the competition, program and its benefits.
How smart can the child, who learns mental arithmetic become?
A child who learns mental arithmetic can be 6 times smarter than the ordinary child, better in concentration and can make him solve any mathematical problem way faster. The goal isn’t just how to solve a mathematical problem, but to enhance the thinking process in the first place. How to study chemistry, physics in a much better way and get a better outcome. The great thing about it is that the child is able to generate the right and the left parts of the brain at the same time. That’s the only program in which a child can use both sides of the brain.
“A child who learns mental arithmetic can be 6 times smarter than the ordinary child, better in concentration and can make him solve any mathematical problem way faster.”
Does it have an effect on other subjects than scientific ones like art or literature?
Of course, we develop creativity in general through a course called creative thinking that makes the child think in a wider scale. A child’s imagination is way bigger than an adult’s so he/she can create ‘story problems’ with details an adult can’t reach.
Why do children have a wider imagination than adults?
That’s because a child has an ability to put himself in a fantasy world. When he plays with his toys, he makes a circle of his own world. When we organize their imagination through mathematics, he provides you with the maximum reach of his imagination and innovation.
“a child has an ability to put himself in a fantasy world. When he plays with his toys, he makes a circle of his own world.”
Is there a gender difference? Who are smarter girls or boys?
Boys are more active, while girls are active yet calmer so they get better results than boys. If you focus on a boy and make his hyperactive manner useful, you get a brilliant outcome from him as well.
How can IMA help in the development of the next generation?
With these courses, you’ll find a very smart generation that reached things we would have never reached. We’re calling for having these courses in all schools and should be taught in parallel with basic school subjects.
“I solved 109 questions in 8 minutes. In school, the normal math exam comes with simple questions but takes time to answer” Ismail Ahmed
Little chat, big minds:
Salama Sherif, 13: This course came to Egypt 3 years ago. The first competition was in 2010 in Kuala Lumpur but we didn’t win. In the 2012 competition there were more than 200 mathematical problems that should be solved in 8 minutes. I became the first and I won. My dream is to build a center like IMA when I grow up.
Ismail Mohamed, 8: I took this training because I love Math. I’m in Intermediate B, Level 6. I want to work in this center as an instructor when I grow up. I’m good at Math at school but I’m not very good at English and Arabic. I never got less than 94/100 though but in Math I get 98/100. I also play Squash and Volley Ball.
Hussein Haitham, 6 years: I’m good at Math, Arabic and English. We were better than the kids in Malaysia and we won.
Ismael Ahmed: I solved 109 questions in 8 minutes. In school, the normal math exam comes with simple questions but takes time to answer, but here in the center, we take more difficult questions with less time. If I will change something about education in Egypt I’ll change the material of paper used in school books (laughs). I would like math text book to be like the IMA book.