STUDENTS FIND THE flexibility which Kumon offers helps in their learning process. Kumon's method allows students to study subjects at a much higher level than they are taught in the classroom. A primary student with ability can advance progressively to tackle maths, Chinese and English-language courses usually taught in Form Four or Form Five. Barry Wo, 12, a Form One student, who recently finished the whole Kumon Chinese syllabus, said the Kumon method removed restrictions on learning and allowed him to advance to higher-grade materials. 'It enabled me to learn and study at my own pace instead of being confined to my school grading. I can now go forward according to my ability and I am able to study Form Three or Four materials in Kumon,' he said. Wo, who has studied in Kumon for more than seven years, said it was a good learning experience with interesting study materials. 'Despite the increase in homework, studying in Kumon is not a burden. I can manage my school and Kumon studies well. It also provides an opportunity to temper myself and develop an important virtue in life - perseverance,' he said. 'The opportunity to study higher-grade courses helps build an analytical mind, which will guide me in my future development. It is my dream to become a scientist.' On October 30, Kumon held its annual 'Advanced Student Honour Roll Ceremony', at which 1,500 students were presented awards in recognition of their achievements. Form Five student Priscilla Ma, 16, who finished the whole Kumon mathematics syllabus, equivalent to matriculation level, said advanced study not only helped her in school, but also prepared her to take on new challenges. 'In the classroom, teachers do all the explaining to lead us through the materials. It is very different in Kumon where I have to take the initiative to learn and discover,' she said. 'I learn faster in Kumon and everything I pick up stays in my memory. My advancement in mathematics has also helped my school results in physics.' Ma, who started her Kumon studies in 1996, said she had once quit for three months after losing interest. But with encouragement from her instructors and parents, she went back to it. Ma said the years of studying in Kumon had positioned her well to pursue a career as an actuary. For Primary Five student Angel Wong, studying in Kumon has boosted her self-esteem. The 10-year-old started learning maths and English the Kumon way in 1999. Today, her knowledge of maths is equivalent to that of a Form Four student.