Maths that motivates, and entertains
published : 17 Aug 2016 at 04:00
newspaper section: Life
Singapore is recognised for its prowess in mathematics teaching, and now a start-up there is doing its part to make maths-learning fun, in the form of an online game called Kungfu Math.
This is also part of Singapore's online mathematics-enrichment programme, created to motivate students in the learning of mathematics and improve their scores.
According to Derrick Koh, founder and CEO of Kungfu Math, the portal is embedded with exciting games, enthusing pupils to deepen their understanding of concepts and sharpen their problem-solving skills. The fun features are designed to motivate young players to constantly practise, and reinforce their understanding of mathematical concepts in a self-directed learning environment in school or at home.
"The aim is to help children develop math problem-solving skills through gameplay, and it's the gamification that makes Kungfu Math different from other online learning," Koh said.
Koh, who owns a private education centre in Singapore, found that children are more interested in playing games on computers than on e-learning portals, and this idea has inspired Koh to come up with something that combines the best of learning and gaming.
He brings together the experience of interacting with children and the expertise of running an IT-development firm. Both a technologist and an art enthusiast, he brings value to systems and games while making them interactive, fun and engaging.
He founded Kungfu Math with Pau Choo, a former teacher of his and a very experienced educator with more than 20 years of teaching and supervising experience.
Kungfu Math allows children to adopt virtual pets and, through the completion of maths problems, earn points to grow and decorate their pets. On the Kungfu Math website, children can dress, feed and care for their online avatars by using points they gain from solving problems.
The comprehensive curriculum covers all aspects of the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) Mathematics Syllabus with multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions and problem sums to practise on.
Step-by–step explanations for all the questions closely adhere to the Ministry of Education syllabus, with heuristics, models and diagrams. In the overseas market, Kungfu Math was adopted in the UK, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia. "We are just entering the Thai market, with one private school using our program, and we're looking for local partners here," said the CEO.
Kungfu Math currently has more than 15 agents in over 10 countries with more than 100,000 users. Its online subscription, available through PayPal, costs US$99 (3,400 baht) per year.
In Singapore, Kungfu Math is collaborating with 30 state schools to use the portal as part of their curriculum.