What is Vedic Maths?
To us, Vedic Mathematics is more than just speed maths skills! It’s something very enchanting. It gives us an adrenaline rush each time we teach this to a group of students anywhere on the globe. We are still awed by the magnitude and the impact which these simple mathematical teachings can have. To us Vedic Maths is a magical tool through which we can change the world, one student at a time!
Founded by an Indian Saint Tirthaji in the early 20th century who just like the Buddha went into the forests of South India and meditated, contemplated and created 16 Sutras or word formulas in Mathematics. These word formulas were able to solve complex calculations with ease and simplicity. As an example a sum like 998 x 997 could be solved in less than five seconds by a third grader which usually takes little more than two minutes to solve.
Because it cuts the time and speeds up the calculations whereby simplifying the entire process, Vedic Mathematics is getting popular amongst academicians worldwide as a mental system of arithmetic. Another reason for its adoration is the deepening maths crisis, low global numeracy levels and lack of Maths teachers.
Consider this for a moment
- Currently in the UK, 17 million adults have the mathematics capabilities of an 11 year old or younger. Source: The Telegraph, UK.
- 9-10 year olds and 13-14 year olds in the United States continue to lag behind several East Asian and European nations in Maths. Source: The New York Times
- In India in 2012, 46.5% of children in Class V could not solve a two-digit subtraction problem without seeking help. Source: The Pratham Report.
- South Africa ranks second last in the world for education in Mathematics. Source: World Economic Forum
In such a grim scenario in Maths, students and teachers too loathe Mathematics. They run away from it and develop a phobia towards the subject. Hence making Maths fun and interesting becomes a challenge. Now this is where Vedic Mathematics steps in through its out of the box methods and approach and makes learning math enjoyable and pleasant for everyone.
Calculators or No Calculators?
This debate has been going on for a long time now, ever since the Calculators were introduced in the mainstream curriculum worldwide couple of decades ago. We feel that calculators do enhance performance in maths tests only after the students learns and understands the basic mathematical principle behind it.
Recently as a way of reforms in the education system the UK Government announced that calculators will be banned in maths tests for 11-year-olds from 2014. This came after the realisation that over 17 million adults have maths capabilities of an 11 year old. This stresses the importance of mental maths skills for students which is coming slowly back in fashion.