The 4th Enlarged Meeting of the Fifth Council of WAAMA & the International Academic Seminar on Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Founding of WAAMA (the 7th Abacus and Mental Arithmetic Education Academic Exchange Seminar) was held on the morning of October 28, 2022 (Beijing Time) via videoconferencing, with the main venue located in Beijing. A total of 64 representatives and experts from 31 council units and member units from 13 countries and regions including Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Tonga, the United Kingdom, China, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong, China attended the meeting. The Council of WAAMA is comprised of 38 members. The representatives of 28 council members attended the 4th Enlarged Meeting of the Fifth Council of WAAMA. The number of attendees has reached two-thirds, which meets the requirement of the Articles of Association of the WAAMA, so the results of the meeting are valid. Consisting of three sessions, this event mainly discussed the main issues as follows:
I. International Academic Seminar on Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Founding of WAAMA (Speeches)
Chairwoman Liu Jianhua and Vice Chairman Kudo Toshikazu, Vice Chairman Hwang Ho Joong, Vice Chairman Hsiao, Chiu-Yung, and Vice Chairman Alexsander K. Taslim sent congratulatory remarks to the 20th Anniversary of the Founding of WAAMA, respectively.
In her speech, Chairwoman Liu Jianhua paid special tribute to the founding president and vice presidents of the First Council of WAAMA, including Chi Haibin, Eiji Katoh, Paula Bloomfield, Hwang Ho Joong, Yeh Tseng-Yi, Jeremy Ng. and Ronnie Chong. Chairwoman Liu Jianhua pointed out that in the past 20 years since its founding, WAAMA has been adhering to the purpose of “promoting the abacus culture, strengthening communication and cooperation, pushing ahead with the spreading and development of abacus and mental arithmetic in the world, and bringing the inspiration role of abacus and mental arithmetic into full play so as to create benefits for mankind”. With the joint efforts of all members, WAAMA has produced significant results in organizational construction, academic exchange, competition and appraisal, education and teaching, member service and other aspects. Going forward, WAAMA will carry on good ideas and good practices, continue our theoretical research, constantly innovate protection methods, strengthen exchanges and cooperation, better serve the members, and promote the long-term and healthy development of the abacus and mental arithmetic cause worldwide.
This speech-delivering part was chaired by Secretary-General Cheng Beiping.
II. International Academic Seminar on Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Founding of WAAMA (Discussion)
This is also the 7th Abacus and Mental Arithmetic Education Academic Exchange Seminar. A total of three experts participated in this academic discussion, and Mr. Alexsander K. Taslim, Vice Chairman of WAAMA, presided over the symposium.
Chen Feiyan, Professor and Doctoral Supervisor of Zhejiang University, gave a report titled “Discussion on Abacus-based Mental Arithmetic and Brain Science”, introducing that her team has proved the positive effect of abacus and mental arithmetic training on improving cognitive abilities such as basic arithmetic, visuospatial ability, working memory and cognitive flexibility with a series of experiments.
Okahisa Yasuo, Vice President of the League for Soroban Education of Japan. Inc., introduced the content of “abacus” in the primary school education syllabus issued by Japanese MEXT through his paper The Current Situation and Future of Calculation on the Abacus in School Education and Private Education in Japan, pointing out the advantages and applications of abacus in mathematics, and further proposing suggestions for the revision of the primary school education syllabus in Japan by 2030. He also explained in detail the question types set by private educational institutions in Japan for abacus level examination, and pointed out that the abacus should be used as a teaching tool to acquire the concepts of numbers, and new textbooks should be developed on this basis.
Kwon Hyuksik, Vice Chairman of Korea Institution of International Abacus and Mathematics Association, South Korea, shared his thoughts on the Direction of Abacus and Mental Arithmetic Education with AI in the Era of the 4th Industrial Revolution. He pointed out that in the face of reduced use of abacus in accounting and tax work as well as the declining birth rate of population, it is necessary to take universal abacus and mental arithmetic as the development direction of abacus education, emphasize that abacus and mental arithmetic plays an important role in improving calculation speed and concentration, and fully enhance the widespread acceptance of abacus and mental arithmetic education in the society.
III. The 4th Enlarged Meeting of the Fifth Council of WAAMA
Chairwoman Liu Jianhua presided over the 4th Enlarged Meeting of the Fifth Council of WAAMA.
(1) The meeting reviewed and approved the Report on the Work of the Fifth Council of WAAMA in Recent Two Years.
(2) The meeting deliberated and adopted the issue of postponing the 6th General Assembly of WAAMA by one year.
(3) All directors attending the meeting spoke positively, gave full affirmation to the work of WAAMA and offered suggestions for its further development. We are willing to take the 20th anniversary of its founding as an opportunity to facilitate the dissemination and development of abacus and mental arithmetic in the world.
As President Liu Jianhua will reach the age of 70 on December 3, 2022, in accordance with the Articles of Association of the World Association of Abacus and Mental Arithmetic, if she continues to hold a leading position, she will be over age. Through email, all directors were invited to make supplementary deliberation, and it was agreed that Liu Jianhua would continue to serve as the President of the Fifth Council of the WAAMA, until the Sixth General Assembly of the WAAMA was held in 2023.
The World Association of Abacus and Mental Arithmetic
November 29, 2022