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September 25, 2017

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Independent minds

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Kon Wen Educational Organization (功文文教機構) is a leading private tutoring organization, which has paved the way for Taiwan's out-of-school mathematics teaching for the past 40 years.

How did they do it? The organization's founder and president Tsai Hsueh-ni (蔡雪泥) shared with us the story behind Kon Wen's monumental success. The following is an edited transcript of our conversation.

How did Kon Wen Education first come to be?

During my college years, I studied family studies and cosmetics in Japan for a couple of years, and that's when I first heard of Kumon Method, or the seed of our Kon Wen, so to speak.

After coming back to Taiwan, I was a teacher for about ten years, teaching family studies and cosmetics at a few education institutes, such as the Chinese Culture University (文化大學), Shih Chien School of Home Economics (實踐家專) and Zhong-Shan Girls High School (中山女高), for about ten years.

It wasn't until one year, after my daughter Winne Chao (趙文瑜) was born and I was visiting Japan again, that I had the chance to encounter Kumon Method, and realize their success in children's mathematics education. After trying out the same methods on my daughter, that's when the idea of bringing Kumon to Taiwan came about, which started off with establishing the very first Kon Wen kindergarten (功文幼兒園) 40 years ago.

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