Young arithmetic whizzes to represent SA

22 June 2015 - 02:03 By Poppy Louw

Using a calculator to solve a maths problem is "so overrated". That is according to eight-year-olds Koketso Ramorola and Didintle Malebane, of Zandspruit, north of Johannesburg.They whizz through 30 sums a minute. And if they need help with a complex sum, they whip out a soroban - a Japanese abacus used to tally large numbers.Their mental arithmetic skills got them chosen to represent South Africa at the Global Abacus and Mental Arithmetic Competition, in the US, in December.The two, who want to be doctors, have been in the CMATHS programme since 2012 and this year advanced to master level."Being able to use my head to calculate helps to make my school work easier," Koketso said.Didintle said she's usually able to work out sums as her teacher writes them and answers before her classmates.

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