Have you tried out the abacus?How much is 101+256+139-23+111-179? Right, it is 405. But how long did you take to get that answer? One or two minutes? How about five seconds? Yes, it is possible and that too without the help of a calculator. Kids learning abacus and mental arithmetic will tell you how. Last weekend saw over 520 Aloha Academy students answering 50 in four minutes during the Andhra Pradesh state level abacus and mental arithmetic competition organised by Aloha Andhra at Padmashali Kalyanamandapam, West Marredpally. Enthusiastic students turned up with their parents not only from the twin cities, but also from places like Vijayawada, Tirupati and Nellore branches of the Academy. The competition was conducted for five different levels, with each having sub categories, starting with the tiny tots. Once the exams were over in the afternoon, the papers were checked immediately and the prize distribution was held in the evening.
Mental abilityThe programme began with a demo by students on their mental prowess, conducted by the director, Aloha Andhra, Padmavathi Muthukumar. S. Balasubramanyam, Director of school education, Government of A. P was the evening and personality development motivator Yandamoori Veerendranath was the guest of honour. Aloha India, CEO, K. Kumaran were also present. Talking on the occasion, Veerendranath said that abacus is a very good way of sharpening the brain and also helps improve the reflex action of the students. Then it was the chance of S. Balasubramanyam to address the gathering. He spoke about the importance of being good in maths in today's world of globalisation. "Maths is one of the most feared subjects in school by most students. But these days you are faced with competition not from within your country, but from across the border. Hence it is very important to increase your mental ability." He then went on to talk about the intellectual heritage of our country and the contribution of geniuses like Ramanujam and Bhaskara to the world. Later, the guests and the head of various franchisees in A.P gave away mementos to the top three winners in each level. The international competition is scheduled to take place in Malaysia on May 6, while the next All India competition will be held in Chennai in December.