Our Brand Story Ours is a proudly independent South African company. From 2007 to 2011, Sharné Bresler started teaching the technique of the Japanese abacus for SEMAS, the international company affiliated with the abacus. It was a refreshingly revolutionary change to the way she had taught, for many years, in a normal high school. Even so, there proved to be numerous constraints in terms of using the SEMAS model to its fullest potential in South Africa. Despite the age of modern communication, the biggest issue was the ineffective management of an international operation under local conditions, especially with parents expecting a progression in service quality and outcomes for their children. Abacus Maths decided to break away and begin its own orbit.
However, rather than viewing this as a negative, the international organisation distanced itself from local mismanagement, and asked Sharné to become the South African president of SEMAS – a real feather in her cap. Abacus Maths are also the founders of AMSASA, the Abacus Maths Soroban Association of South Africa. Within AMSASA we have hosted national competitions since 2014, affording our top students the opportunity to qualify for international competitions. Our competitor companies (with whom we enjoy a friendly rivalry) that want to promote the paradigm of mental Maths educational skills also support these competitions. Together we have made South Africa proud by having no fewer than 6 world champions in the 2017 international GAJSMA competition, where we outperformed top countries such as Japan, Singapore and India – all bastions of the top Maths achievers globally. Currently, Abacus Maths has more than 3,500 students supported by almost 40 amazing partnering franchises and schools, tutoring Abacus Maths skills in all 9 provinces. We bring the best international practices that our trainers and founders, Sharné and Quinnette, learn in Japan, and pass them on to all our partners. The biggest advantage in our approach to teaching basic mental skills is involving all the learning senses, especially the tactile sense of learning. Our small group settings allow children to get the personal attention and focussed input they need to progress to the next level. This year Abacus Maths and AMSASA are hosting the international GAJSMA competition and we expect SA to be the best again, out of more than 20 top countries being represented by their young achievers.