Ask a five year old what an abacus is, many won’t know. Though, you may get some interesting responses. Ask a teenager what an abacus is, and you may get semi qualified response – “An ancient calculating tool.” By now, you’ve already visualized a rectangular frame with bars and a few beads. So we all know what it looks like, but do we know how to use it? It’s just an old calculator, right? We now have computers and calculators to do the same calculations for us, and faster?
Though it may seem so, studies have shown those that have abacus training are able to perform rigid calculations faster than anyone attempting it on a calculator or computer. This ancient tool was used to perform basic arithmetic operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, even square and cube roots, and more. Abacus Math is now being used as a systematic skill development course, where one can perform calculations by mentally visualizing the abacus. It has also been adopted as supplementary education helping to enhance and polish brain functions.
Recently, FEDU – India (www.FEDU.org) was given the opportunity to take a lesson in Abacus Math, taught by Mrs. Suryavanshi in Maharashtra. Upon meeting her, she looked like an everyday person. Speaking to her you’ll see she’s a calm, soft spoken woman, with a motherly nature. Give her an abacus . . . and the conversation explodes and a ray of light shines down on her.
Mrs. Suryavanshi is an Abacus tutor, and has been dedicating her time to teaching this skill to students all over Maharashtra, and especially those in rural areas, where they don’t have educational resources. She invited FEDU to her recent tutoring session. The students were not the only ones that learned, FEDU team was amazed at what they had missed as they were trying to use all the new technologies to do ‘math.’ After a two hour session, everyone walked away with a greater understanding of Abacus Math, and how to use it. “It’s (also) fun”- as stated by one of the students.
FEDU was honored to have been invited by Mrs. Suryavanshi. FEDU’s mission to “Enable Education for All,” Mrs. Suryavanshi really brought the true meaning of education to light, with her dedication and passion for Abacus Math. Being a supplemental program, not all schools offer such courses, thus parents having to reach out to a tutor. Many living in rural areas don’t have the means or resources to bring in a tutor, or even go to a more developed school. This is where FEDU steps in.
By partnering with non profits, NGOs, and those like Mrs. Suryavanshi, FEDU is able to gain reach to deserving individuals. Through crowdfunding, FEDU raises the funds needed to make such education possible. You don’t need to be a tutor to help the cause, you just need to know the root of making a difference starts with You.
FEDU is a crowdfunding platform to identify and fund indigenous educational projects internationally. Founded in 2012 by Chet Jain, FEDU’s goal is to improve lives by ‘enabling education for all. FEDU is headquartered in San Jose with teams in the Bay Area and India. For more information on FEDU, please visit www.fedu.org