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Soroban National Competition 2012 & Hand-over of 1000 Soroban from ISDF

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16 March, 2012. A National Soroban competition for Primary School will be held on 29th March @ Queen Salote College Hall from 9am. The participants will consist of;

i) 10% each of students selected from Classes 4 & 5 in Government Primary Schools;
ii) Students who passed the Level 7 of the Soroban Test including outer islands; and
iii) Medalists from outer islands.

The highlight of the competition:

Mrs. Sakiko Suzuki, a Junior Volunteer dispatched from JICA to CDU (Curriculum Developed Unit),said the highlight of this year's competition is that the champion of the "Written problem" will travel with a teacher [chaperone] to an Annual Soroban Camp in Japan.

This program is funded by the International Soroban Diffusion Foundation [ISDF] whose mission will be in Tonga during the competition. The group will consist of Japanese teachers and students who will demonstrate their Soroban skills and exchange Japanese culture during the completion.

The head of Mission, Mr. Masao Fuji said that "they are hoping to give stimulus to the Tongan teachers and students through their performance". They will be in Tonga for 4 days and during their trip they will visit schools and experience homestay with Tongan families. This will be a good experience for the Japanese and Tongan students to exchange culture.

On the same occasion Mr. Fuji will also hand-over more than 1000 Sorobans for students from Petani GPS and other primary schools. ISDF has previously donated Sorobans to Tonga in the past years and again Tonga will be fortunate to receive the same donation this year. Mr. Fuji said donation of Soroban has been continued for 34 years and more than 10000 Soroban were contributed to school children in Tonga

A prospect of Soroban education in Tonga:

In 1977, Soroban was first introduced to Tonga from Japanese people.

Today, it has become a part of the curriculum in Government Primary Schools in Tonga.

Additionally, MEWAC assigned Sefo Kakapu as the first local Soroban officer assigned at the Soroban Office in CDU (Curriculum Development Unit) from last year and this year Loani Tahitu'a joins him. Although it is often considered that the Soroban education should be run by Japanese people, Tongan people should take the initiative of running it.

Soroban is one of the basic skills of human being (reading, writing, arithmetic). Children can form the mathematical foundation through Soroban and it will help them understand other subjects. Unfortunately there are still some teachers who do not teach Soroban.

However Soroban is very useful for children and above all they love studying Soroban. The Soroban office believes that this competition will be a good opportunity for cultural exchange between the two countries also to notify the importance & enjoyment of Soroban all over Tonga.


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