In Bangladesh, Kumon Method of learning has been introduced in selected BPS among the third and fourth grade of students as a supplementary module in mathematics. Kumon aims to enable students to develop advanced academic and self-learning ability by ensuring that children are always studying at a level that is just right for them. In particular, students are assigned to an initial level based on individual performance in a diagnostic test (DT) provided by Kumon Institute, not on the basis of the school grade or age. Kumon Method is uniquely designed to set the initial level slightly lower than the concurrent maximum capacity of the student in order to: i) ensure full understanding of the basic concepts as a firm building block of cognitive ability development; and ii) stimulate students’ motivation to continue to study, which also works for the development of their non-cognitive ability such as self-confidence and self-esteem. Kumon’s mathematics program is divided into 20 levels (from Level 6A to Level O), and five elective levels, comprising a total of 4,420 double-sided worksheets. All of these worksheets are carefully designed, starting from simple counting to advanced mathematics, with the level of difficulty increasing in small steps.8 Worksheets contain example questions with hints, which help students to acquire step by step problem solving skills by themselves. As a result, students can absorb material beyond their school grade level through self-learning, and advance to studying high school level material at an early age. Importantly, slower learners can spend more time on the basics without being rushed to move on to advanced level of materials beyond their level of understanding.
Another feature of Kumon Method of Learning is a tracking system of each student’s progress and achievements using personalized record books. Kumon instructors do not teach in the class and hence, do not need extensive prior experience to conduct daily quizzes to monitor the understanding and progress of each student. This is because Kumon worksheets are laid out in small steps to enable students to self-learn and there is a determined standard time per worksheet to judge whether students can advance to the next level or should repeat a level. Having detailed progress reports on the worksheets allows instructors to obtain more objective information about their students’ abilities, and their understanding of the mathematics involved.