Over 700 Kumon Students Recognised for Exceptional Performance
Putrajaya, Selangor, 22 April 2019 – Malaysia’s largest after-school enrichment programme, Kumon Malaysia held its annual Advanced Student Forum 2019 (“ASF”), a platform aimed at recognising students who have successfully advanced 5 years ahead of their school grade as well as programme completers who have completed the Kumon Mathematics or English programme up to level O and L respectively.
This year, 771 Kumon students from over 200 centres in Malaysia received the recognition for their exceptional performance at the event held in Putrajaya Marriott Hotel, attended by over 2,400 students, parents as well as Kumon instructors. Outside of Malaysia, this annual event is held in countries such as Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, New Zealand and Australia across the Asia and Oceania region.
This year’s event saw special guest appearance, Dato’ Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, Malaysia’s first astronaut, who inspired the students by sharing his real-life journey to success having fulfilled his lifelong ambition to be an astronaut. At the session, he shared about the challenges he faced to excel in his academics and eventually graduated as an orthopaedic surgeon, and eventually represented Malaysia as the first astronaut.
Dato’ Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor was invited to be a guest speaker at Kumon’s ASF event as he is also a father of two daughters, whom are currently attending Kumon programmes for Mathematics and English.
The ASF is a platform that recognises Kumon students who have successfully advanced a minimum of 5 years beyond their actual school grade as well as students who have completed the Kumon programme. The ASF is held globally and was first introduced in 2011 in Malaysia. Since then, Kumon Malaysia has witnessed over 5,000 students achieve the ‘Advanced Student’ recognition.
Kumon Malaysia focuses on helping children achieve their limitless potential through the self-learning method, a method initiated in Japan more than 60 years ago, by an educator, Toru Kumon. Lesson plans are customised based on the student’s ability and progress. Upon successful completion of a level, students are required to undergo an Achievement Test to evaluate their progress before advancing to the next level. Through this method, students, from as young as four, are able to progress in Mathematics and English at a level that is comfortable (‘just-right level’), and not limited to their school-grade levels, some surpassing it.
The self-learning method, also termed as the Kumon Method, is an effective way that guides students to develop the ability to self-learn and eventually be equipped with critical skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking, preparing them to be discipline, independent and gain positive traits such as confidence and perseverance. Mr Sugawa further shared that there is a strong need for parents and educators to shift from over emphasising academic excellence but to also focus on character building and critical life skills to further shape students to be resilient. He said, “The 60-year old Kumon Method has stood the test of time, and has helped children in over 50 countries around the world build not only a stronger foundation towards achieving academic excellence, but also positive character building required to develop a more resilient mind that prepares them for their future.”
According to the 7Cs Model of Resilience, advocated by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the 7Cs which includes control, competence, coping, confidence, connection, character and contribution are key areas to set students on the right track to resilience.
“Having enrolled my son in Kumon since he was 4 years old, I have witnessed his progress and he now has a strong foundation in learning which has guided him beyond just Mathematics and English but also the right skill sets to excel in other subjects and activities beyond academics. The routine and self-learning method that Kumon has introduced him has shaped him to be more self-disciplined and confident,” said Kamarul Ariffin, a Kumon parent whose son, Adam Raziq (15) has attended Kumon for over 11 years.
Since its inception in 1997, Kumon Malaysia has over 200 centres nationwide with a student database of over 33,000. In line with Kumon’s mission in identifying potential in children, Kumon Malaysia targets to unveil 20 new centres over the next two years, bringing to a total of more than 220 centres by 2020.