Discover and maximize the learning potential of young people – 30 years of Kumon in Hong Kong
2018 Kumon Hong Kong Completers Award Ceremony
Kumon Hong Kong celebrated an important milestone on 25 November for hundreds of students who have successfully completed the full Kumon programs. Attaining the ‘completer’ status this year is doubly meaningful as 2018 also marks the 30-year anniversary of Kumon in Hong Kong.
This year’s completers included 112 in maths, 278 in English and 45 in Chinese. This brings the cumulative total of Kumon completers from Hong Kong and Macau to 6067. The youngest completers were in Form 1 in maths, Primary 3 in English and Primary 5 in Chinese.
Founded in Japan in 1958, Kumon is now in over 50 countries and regions with close to 4.2 million students. The Kumon Method emphasises independent learning. Its learning material consists of worksheets that helps students make steady progress with increasing level of difficulty. Over time, students learn at their own pace under the individualized instruction of Kumon instructors. Often, students acquire knowledge beyond their age or grade levels in school.
Hidetoshi Kaminishi, president of Kumon China, looks forward to witnessing the completers’ future.
“The true value of the Kumon Method is that it equips children with the attitude and skills of self-driven learning,” he said. “In other words, the children have a daily habit of learning. They have problem-solving skills, self-confidence, proactivity, perseverance, self-discipline and willingness to embrace challenges.”
“I am particularly moved when I think about all the different ways our Kumon completers would contribute to our society and our world,” he added.
Brenda Wong, deputy general manager of Kumon Hong Kong, has seen many Kumon completers go on to their preferred secondary schools and universities. They have attained success in their chosen careers and play important roles in society, she said.
“Kumon has always aimed to discover and maximize the potential of every individual, cultivate all-rounded and capable talents who will make meaningful contribution to society,” she said.
Wong also complimented Kumon instructors for their supervision and encouragement to students.
“Kumon instructors give individualized attention based on closely observing the students,” Wong said. “Instructors inspire the students to develop their logical thinking and individual abilities, so that the students can work at their own pace and learn what their schools’ syllabus has not yet covered.”
Huang Chuyu, a completer at the award ceremony, also thanked the Kumon instructors. In three years, he went from a P3 student who did not know any English vocabulary to a P6 student able to help his classmates with English homework.
It took some time for Huang to realize the power of the Kumon materials. For the English subject, he discovered that listening to the Kumon CDs helped improve listening and speaking skills.
Later when he decided to prepare for the completers’ exam, learning became more intense.
“My efforts have not gone to waste as I successfully finished the completers’ exam,” he said with pride, adding that he continues with the Kumon English Reading Program (ERP) to further enhance his language skills.
Achieving the ‘Kumon completer’ status is no small feat, as several veterans have attested. Henry Hon, a 2008 completer in maths and Chinese, is now a business administration graduate from the Chinese University and an actuarial analyst.
“When I was in Form 3, I initially found calculus to be difficult. This helped me learn perseverance and not to give up only due to a small setback,” he said. “Eventually I was a completer in maths when I was Form 5, and went on to attain an A in Maths and A.Maths [Additional Maths] in HKCEE.”
Learning does not stop for Hon, even though he has an enviable job now. Artificial intelligence poses a threat to the profession, he said. Mediocre skills are not enough for long-term career success.
“Kumon instilled in me the pursuit of excellence,” he said. “That’s why I’ve persisted in excelling at a series of actuarial examinations in order to develop myself into a top professional.”
Another Kumon veteran, Andy Chan, was a 2006 completer in maths. He has graduated from HKUST with a degree in business administration, and is now a relationship manager at a corporate bank. He started the Kumon program from Primary 3.
“The material gradually got more difficult and the odd mistake was inevitable. I became discouraged at first,” he said. “But my instructor at Kumon taught me to see each correction as an opportunity to rethink the problem.”
The Kumon Method encouraged students to correct and analyse their own mistakes in the worksheets. Chan attributes Kumon for training his analytical and problem-solving abilities, and making him comfortable in overcoming challenges. This has been key to his career success, he said.
“This world is constantly changing, so our ways of doing things may need to be constantly adjusted,” Chan said. “Anyone who wants to seize new opportunities need to maintain an open mind and be always ready to embrace change.”
Children over the age of three are eligible for registration. Free diagnostic tests are available in over 170 Kumon Education Centres across Hong Kong, Kowloon, New Territories, Outlying islands and Macau.
Register online for a free diagnostic test: https://www.kumon.com.hk/
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