Africa-Press – Lesotho. The Universal Concept of Mental Arithmetic System (UCMAS) Lesotho competition on Saturday held its 4th national competition for children. The competition is designed to boost children’s brain functionality in the early
stages between the ages of 4-13. The UCMAS program originates in Malaysia and was formed in 1993. It operates in over 85 countries and Lesotho has been a part of the program since 2016.
UCMAS National Development Manager Tiaan Janse Van Rensburg described the program as a mental development program for brain development. “The children use the abacus
to stimulate their brain development,” he added. Janse Van Rensburg stated the children participating in the competition come from different schools across the country, thus are registered by parents not the
schools. “This children also compete with others internationally,” he said. The Managing Director and Moderator James Mabeta, explained that they held the
competition in preparation for the international competition to be held in Cambodia in December 2019. They use a special abacus to train children do calculations.
“This abacus is so unique that after a child has been trained to use it, they can be able to visualize it and do calculations without the abacus, “he added. UCMAS
also assists children with concentration as many of them struggle to concentrate in classes at school and this have a bad impact on their studies because
they end up not unable to hear what they are being taught. “UCMAS also helps the children with memory so that they are able to store and retrieve information they learnt.
It also boost their confidence so that when they are in other countries competing with children of different races, they are able to face them and defeat them,” he said.
The winner of this year’s UCMAS Thato Molikoe explained she first joined UCMAS in 2017 and 2019 was her first winning year in the competition. Molikoe said her
mathematics performance has improved since joining the competition. “I used to struggle with numbers so much in school and ever since I become part of UCMAS I have been the highest in my class in Mathematics,’’ she said.