“Universal Concept of Mental Arithmetic System Center,” popularly abbreviated as UCMAS Center, is reckoned to be a point of attraction for many parents in Mississauga. They look forward to developing their kids’ brains from early childhood. UCMAS is a parent company, whereas “MN Mathguru” is a franchise located in the most accessible area of Mississauga. Fernando is the reason behind this educational system’s success in this center and is running this business since 1999.
UCMAS uses a tool called “Abacus,” whose origin is Malaysia. It is termed as “Zhuvan Method.” By all means, there must be some inspiration behind an idea to start it as a business in Canada. “My children were enrolled in UCMAS course, and that is when me and my husband, who is my backbone which helped me to focus on my business, became very interested in this program. I was very passionate about this business because this helps me nurture young minds.” Fernando exclaimed her motivation towards the instigation of this business.
The center where young kids to high schoolers are trained using the tool “Abacus” is considered an essential element of the educational system. “It is a whole-brain development program. By mastering the techniques of using the Abacus, one can solve very large calculations mentally. UCMAS is actually all about focus. The increase in focus is helpful in all other subjects too. With the UCMAS skill, one can double-check the regular mathematics calculations.” Fernando stated the importance of focus and its stimulation by the usage of the Abacus, which benefits the young kids in all areas of the educational system. “UCMAS promotes the joy of lifelong learning for kids along with incorporating self-discipline in them.”
Students from all over Canada are prepared to acquire exposure, confidence, and a spirit of participation at this center for a massive competition. Fernando had a proud exclamation to make. “We have competitions and grading exams at our center, and the final competition is held at Hersey Center, Mississauga, which accommodates around two thousand students. Our center has won the championship award. This award is for the fastest and most accurate one. Our center also associates the first and second runner-up and merit winners, whereas Canada has won quite a few awards by UCMAS. Only this year, it all went online due to COVID.”
Pandemic did not hold back Fernando to continue assisting her students. “Many of my students were out of the station when they went for March break last year and got stuck, but I was able to accommodate them online even they were in the other part of the world. I plan to continue online classes till the COVID clears out completely. Some students got the hang of it fast, but some struggle. For this reason, I make videos and send them along with my continuing live classes. I also must say that parents do cooperate too for a smooth running of online classes.”
While Canada offers a wide range of variety of programs, UCMAS stands out, especially for immigrants. “We give a live demo of existing students to the parents who happen to approach us as our business mostly runs through word of mouth. I let my students demonstrate in front of parents how the use of Abacus as a skill is different from regular math programs run by other institutes.”
I am sure many parents would be interested to know about more programs offered at the UCMAS center. “We don’t limit ourselves to teaching Abacus. We also have programs such as “Obotz,” which is generally termed as “Robotics” and “curriculum math” in case any child needs help with these skillsets.”
Abacus is a rare skill used to develop the human brain, but I wondered how Robotics could help. “Robotics involves the design, construction, operation, and use of Robots. If we inculcate this skill from the very beginning, the child learns decision-making techniques if they are inclined towards engineering concepts naturally.”
Fernando teaches students for long hours and manages to stay stress-free even though different children’s levels demand different time spans of attention. “I am very passionate about my business. I have an exceptional connection with the students. Some students are fast while some are slow, so I give extra time completely free of cost so they may catch up the pace. I believe that with a parents’ point of view, it is very unfair to compare one child to another. This is exactly why I only encourage them to practice during extra hours.”
In these uncertain times, being an entrepreneur is a blessing in disguise. Fernando’s perspective as a woman entrepreneur is deep and clear. “In the educational field, parents trust their kids with female instructors, so I must say that it is challenging but a blessing at the same time. I, as a woman, have to balance between family life and business, but because my family is very supportive, I find it easy to continue my business with peace of mind. For business aspirants, I always suggest them to be confident as there is nothing that they cannot face.”
These trying times have affected working or business class and school-going children transitioning from physical to online courses. It is the cooperation of parents and children both who are keen to continue with their learning process by ensuring that this switch from physical to virtual education is as smooth as possible.
Nonetheless, it has been an excellent test for teachers to exploit their skills online to benefit the students. The entire education system requires complete teamwork so as not to affect kids during a pandemic.
Fernando is continuously working on enhancing her teaching strategies to overcome challenges of virtual learning program through self-made instructional videos, live demonstration of how to use fingers to make proper use of Abacus, and continuously conducting online meetings with parents.
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Author: Sarah Syed, Content Writer, Toronto, Canada. If you have more stories to share, kindly email:- [email protected]