Aliya Maulesheva is the head of the Children's Academy of Intellectual Development UCMAS, whose main mission is to develop the potential of the young generation of the country. Aliya is a comprehensively developed, purposeful, and multifaceted personality.
It was Aliya who introduced Kazakhstan to the unique ancient Chinese intellectual methodology for children’s early development called mental arithmetic.
Along with her team, Aliya became the first initiator of the implementation of the UCMAS (Universal Concept of Mental Arithmetic System) program in the post-Soviet space (CIS member-states). The main idea and mission that Maulesheva pursued was to unleash the intellectual potential of the nation, so that in the future such children would be wanted on the world labor market.
Nowadays, it’s already proven that any child can become a genius if they find the right approach and work on their intellectual abilities. The child’s future depends on the platform of knowledge, which is laid in early childhood. The creative potential and intellectual skills play an important role, which are developed with the help of mental arithmetic. Training program UCMAS is based on the method of application of mental arithmetic. Thanks to this program, children aged 4-12 reveal their intellectual potential and achieve great success in life. The uniqueness of mental arithmetic is that it develops both brain hemispheres at once. In other words, it develops both creative potential and intellectual abilities.
The educational technique of mental arithmetic used in UCMAS schools, develops hidden opportunities and leadership qualities.
The UCMAS school graduates are capable of memorizing large amounts of information, and counting in mind, using complex combinations of numbers. Many children, having gone through all levels of the program, discover new talents in themselves - they start writing poetry and playing musical instruments. In addition, children with a knowledge base in mental arithmetic show excellent results at school, win contests and international competitions, and also win grants to study abroad.
UCMAS is the most global academy of mental arithmetic that trains hundreds of thousands of children in 57 countries of the world. Every year the number of interested parents and children who enroll in our schools increases.
Aliya, tell us how you came up with the idea of creating a school of mental arithmetic in Kazakhstan?
All randomness is not accidental. The backstory is very interesting. While I was studying abroad (at Columbia University Business School), we had a course called “Finance Structuring”. Once, during a lecture, a reputable professor gave us a difficult task, related to the calculation of the interest rate on a particular transaction. Many students immediately began to look for the solution by means of their gadgets and computers. All of a sudden, one of our coursemates unexpectedly quickly gave an answer that turned out to be correct. He calculated everything in mind. His result was impressive. The professor tested his abilities on several more exercises, which the guy did successfully without problems as well, without using even a pen and paper. Later I learned he was trained in mental arithmetic in the childhood (according to the UCMAS program). As a result, the professor offered this student to work in a hedge fund, and I was so impressed with the topic of mental arithmetic that I made a decision to open a school in Kazakhstan so that our children could also show such impressive results of mental activity abroad.
Weren't you scared? After all, introducing something new is always risky and difficult...
Yes, at the very beginning it was quite difficult to explain the essence and effectiveness of this technique. But when the first results and brainchildren of our work began to appear, everything changed. People started to share their impressions, and an increase in popularity and excitement started. I think the secret of our success is that I never doubted what I was doing. I was always confident that mental arithmetic would give a significant impetus to the development of a new Kazakhstani generation. Before launching the educational platform, I tested the methodology on my own children, and when I saw the result, I got even more excited. I have always been inspired by the idea that I can influence the development of the intelligence of our people. I am very grateful to those parents and like-minded people who, at the beginning of our journey, believed in our idea and trusted us. So far, our school has achieved great success, our students showed phenomenal results of intellectual progress.
Could you tell us the main idea and the essence of the UCMAS intelligence development program?
The program is based on the use of ancient Chinese Abacus beads. This device emerged more than three thousand years ago. The edges of the beads are pointed, so they train fine motor skills very well in the learning process, which, as we know, has a positive effect on the development of brain activity. The program aims at comprehending all three types of arithmetic counting.
Over time, the dependence the beads weakens, and the child moves to a new stage, where imaginary beads are actively used. All figures are perceived with the help of pictures.
Thanks to the mental arithmetic techniques, children achieve great success in the learning process at school, feel intellectual advantages over their peers and, over time, develop leadership skills. On our YouTube channel you can see the real results of UCMAS students.
Nowadays, it is our students who show the record results of solving complex problems in mind in terms of speed and accuracy in Kazakhstan and Russia. Phenomenal mathematical abilities are just a bonus of learning. The main "highlight" of the program is that children develop phenomenal aural and visual memory, their attention concentration and assiduity improves, and the creative potential is revealed.
The ability to quickly think, count, analyze and memorize large amounts of information is important not only at school. Those are the key skills in the process of personal development, as well as professional growth. The UCMAS program provides a unique intellectual base, which will definitely come in handy in the future. By investing in the development of the children now, we are building them a happy future.
At what age is it better to start education?
We teach children from 4-14 years old. Exactly in this age range an excellent plasticity of the brain is observed, which means that the child’s intelligence is maximally ready for development and work. The first results of the work are already vivid after a few weeks. Parents, in turn, noted an improvement in school performance, memory and working capacity. In addition to success in such subjects as geometry, algebra, physics, chemistry, parents see results in humanitarian disciplines. Children develop their creative potential, they are able to learn poems and new foreign languages. They show success in all areas of mental and creative activity.
Is the UCMAS program adapted to Kazakhstan school curriculum standards?
Of course, our program is fully adapted. Education is conducted in Russian and Kazakhstan languages. Our program has 10 levels. The main goal is to introduce mental arithmetic in all regions of Kazakhstan.
We give our best students a chance to participate in mathematical competitions around the world, where they show excellent results, often win first places, and become the best of the best.
Today we are cooperating with the Moscow Pedagogical University MGPU, which professors and associate professors are members of the UCMAS scientific council. Thanks to our cooperation and friendship, we actively exchange experience, support each other, share knowledge and carry out a joint mission of popularizing the method of mental arithmetic.
Only the best mental arithmetic teachers work at our centers. In addition, we opened a research and educational center for the specialists’ working in this field.
Day by day, the technique of mental arithmetic is gaining an increasing popularity. More and more schools imitating our activity are opened in the world. We are flattered, but still always try to be one step ahead. We put our heart and soul into our work, doing everything with love and great dedication.
One gets the impression that UCMAS is not just a training center, but something more...
Of course, our center is a child who was born once and we all worked together on its development and growth. We put love in it, therefore, we have received precious fruits. Seeing how our students develop, achieve success, and show phenomenal results inspires us. This serves as the best motivation for development. I am sure that our students will achieve great success, influence the future of Kazakhstan, and play an important role in world history.