My name is Fidget Muregi, and I am the Kumon Instructor at the Croydon Central Study Centre.
My involvement with remedial and supplementary education started in the late 1980s. Back then, as it is the case today, good grades in maths and English had become ‘the passport’ to higher education and training, and to promotion at work. I ran informal classes as a pastime to help students catch up at school or to improve their grades in maths. Due to increasing demand, I eventually established an independent college in Zimbabwe, specifically to offer remedial and supplementary tuition services in maths and English. Students were drilled in areas of difficulty and examination techniques using past examination papers. Parents and students alike were very satisfied with the results as they did improve their grades and those that needed remediation caught up at school. Still, I was not convinced this was the best way to equip students with the necessary skills needed in their academic development and indeed to deal with the many challenges of life. To me it was like treating a symptom of the problem rather than the problem itself.
The wow moment for me was when I saw a Kumon advert on television when I came over to the UK in 2005. I researched the Kumon Method and found that it talked about carrying out a diagnostic test to establish the student’s ability level, then give him/her a solid foundation and equip him/her with effective work/study skills to be an independent, advanced learner. It immediately dawned on me that this was what was missing from what my college was offering.
Having studied mathematics myself to PhD level and taught it at various levels, I want to impress on my students those attitudes, behaviours and approaches to study that worked for me. I was intrigued to find that the Kumon Method talked of the same attributes that made me succeed as a student of mathematics: hard work, perseverance, disciplined study, always working with pen and paper, writing and re-writing formulae and committing them to memory etc.
Soon after my studies, I got employed in the insurance industry where I worked for ten years. By its nature, insurance is couched in legal and technical language. This requires close reading of contractual documents and their interpretation in layman terms. Some skills needed here is what the Kumon English Programme aims to develop in your child: critical reading skills to analyse passages of texts, reading comprehension skills, and generally the development of a passion for reading as a life-long pursuit.
In the corporate world I also learnt the importance of correct grammatical construction, punctuation and correct spelling when writing business reports. These are some of the skills that the English programme aims to develop in your child at an early age.
I was so impressed with the programme that I trained to become a Kumon Instructor myself and opened the centre in 2006. Since then, I have seen countless children achieve incredible results with Kumon. I am very proud to be able to offer this service in my community, and I look forward to working with your child.