Chess A Tool for Education & Health:The Kenya National Assembly & Senate Declaration

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Why Chess in Schools Matter: Chess as an Elective Subject in the Curriculum,Educational ,Health & a  Social Pillar in the Kenya Vision 2030

" Chess includes game,art and science .The person  who owns the features of a sportsman ,actor and scientist is unbeatable." - Grandmaster T.Petrosyan

Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a chessboard, a checkered gameboard with 64 squares arranged in an 8×8 grid.The game is played by millions of people worldwide. Chess is believed to be derived from the Indian game chaturanga some time before the 7th century.Wikipedia.

Empirical research on the benefits of chess in education ,has enabled countries like   Armenia and over 30+ countries globally, to embrace chess as part -of-the core-curriculum  in the school education system.Armenia as   a country has all six-years-old children learn chess in schools thus becoming the first country to do so.

Curriculum

Several studies indicate a positive correlation between being introduced to chess in childhood and performing better in subjects like math and science, as well as showing an enhanced capacity for problem-solving, memory and language skills, all of which are valuable, and increasingly rare, assets in the job market. In one study, conducted in primary schools in Aarhus, Denmark, in 2013, weekly math lessons were replaced with chess-inspired lessons. The students actually ended up performing better in math.

New 2-6-3-3-3 curriculum

Chess is considered as an co-curricular activity in our current  Kenya  8-4-4 education system.One of the key requirements of the new curriculum  is that teachers place more emphasis on their learner's mental ability to process issues as well as nurture their competencies based on their skills,talents and interests.

 Chess Kenya is the governing body that runs and manages Chess in Kenya. It was founded as Kenya Chess Association (KCA) in 1967 and affiliated to the international  body  FIDE  in 1980.

It has collated   it's research and presented it's findings  to the  Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development  ,with the following  papers :    Case for ICT, Computer Science and Chess in Early Childhood Education: Redesigning the Kenyan Curriculum ,  A Case for ICT ,Computing and Chess:Redesigning the Kenyan Curriculum   and  Chess as an Elective Subject in the Curriculum, Educational and a Social Pillar in the Kenya Vision 2030  respectively.

In the  envisaged New 2-6-3-3-3 curriculum . chess is implemented as part of   Life Skills and Physical and Health Education and Sports and Physical Education in both the primary and secondary levels.respectively and as a pathway.

 Chess in Schools programme is also nurtured and promoted by the Kenya Sports Academ Kenya Sports Academy .Which runs  and offers  scholastic chess amongst other seven sports disciplines that are involved in the camp partly funded by the Ministry of Sports and Heritage.

Chess: Lenana joins list of schools playing chess

 Lenana School has incorporated chess in its co-curriculum activities.Chess Kenya took more than 500 students of the school through a two-day intensive introductory training session.

The students received training from four world federation (FIDE) certified trainers led by Chess Kenya Federation’s president, Benard Wanjala, the former  head of chess in schools Shem Vilebwa, national trainer Everlyne Gichuru, and chess promoter Duncan Opiyo, who will also serve as a resident coach...

The programme was supported by the Kenya Sports Academy, which supplied 150 chess boards.Chess Kenya has almost similar programs in : Nairobi School and ST Patrick Iten  amongst others.

European Parliament

The   European Parliament   has expressed its favourable opinion on using chess courses in schools as educational tool (Binev, Attard-Montalto, Deva, Mauro, & Takkula, 2011) and, similarly, the  Spanish Parliament has approved the implementation of chess courses during school hours and in the curriculum .. 

These initiatives have been conducted because  chess is considered an effective educational tool able to improve not only mathematical skills, but also other academic skills such as reading and general cognitive abilities such as concentration and intelligence, and even children's heuristics and habits of mind (Costa & Kallick, 2009). Critically, efforts to promote chess in schools take for granted that chess skill transfers to other domains.

In 2012, the European Parliament made a declaration about introducing the Chess in Schools(CIS) program in the education systems of European Union member states. Inter alia, the declaration called on the European Commission and member states to encourage inclusion of  the program in the member states' education systems, and called on the European Commission to provide the necessary funding. Note that this declaration is not binding, as EU member  states are independent when it comes to organizing their education systems.11 Subsequently, the European Parliament Committee on Culture and Education discussed a budget document in 2016, which, inter alia, included a proposal to allocate €150,000 to fund a pilot for the  Chess in Schools program. This pilot was intended to provide research-based evidence on the advantages of chess and to develop methods of teaching chess in schools.

ChesSDGs:International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

On April 6, 2017, the  World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA), in partnership with the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations and the United Nations Association of Russia, hosted Russian chess Grandmaster Anatoly Karpov at UN Headquarters to highlight the positive role of sports in achieving the  UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Chess At The Olympics...!!

Chess was an exhibition sport at the 2000 Summer  Olympics in Sydney. ... Additionally, an application for chess to be included as a sport at the 2020 games in Tokyo has been submitted. Chess is recognized as a sport by the International Olympic Committee.

7 Surprising Health Benefits of Playing Chess

Grandmaster and world chess champion Bobby Fischer is famously quoted as saying, “Chess is life.” But can this two-player game, consisting of a square checkered board and playing pieces that are moved in different ways depending on their royal or military designation, benefit your mental and physical health? Absolutely! Check out these seven surprising health benefits of playing chess and then consider your next move... Read More  

Digital Citizenship : Screen Time

Children who spend longer than two hours a day in front of a computer or TV are more likely to suffer psychological difficulties than other youngsters, a UK study suggests.Researchers said they also found that physical exercise did not make up for too much  screen time.The University of Bristol study, published in Pediatrics, involved more than 1,000 children aged about 10.Its lead author said a two-hour screen limit per day was a sensible guideline.

But the  educational benefits of chess aren’t just for the game’s grandmasters.  chess can combat many challenges we face today: fractured attention, indecisiveness and a shortage of grit and discipline brought on by too much screen time. Technology has forever changed the way we live, learn and play. Our children have insatiable appetites for fast-paced, action-packed entertainment, and it often feels as though we are watching powerlessly as their patience and critical-thinking skills suffer.These are complicated issues, but I believe we should look to an ancient cure: the two-tone chessboard and its 32 pieces.

Computer Chess

Computer Chess  includes both hardware (dedicated computers) and software capable of playing chess. Computer chess provides opportunities for players to practice even in the absence of human opponents, and also provides opportunities for analysis, entertainment and training. Since around 2005, chess engines have been able to defeat even the strongest human players. Nevertheless, it is considered unlikely that computers will ever solve chess due to its computational complexity.

Although, Games from the 2018 Science paper A General Reinforcement Learning Algorithm that Masters Chess, Shogi and Go through Self-Play  showed a big leap forward and promise.

In a Nutshell :

 a.) Chess helps prevent Alzheimer's...

b.) It grows dendrites...

c.)  Chess raises your kids IQ...

d.) It increases kid's problem-solving skills...

e.) Chess improves spatial skills ...

f.) It improves the memory of your child...

g.) It exercises both sides of the brain...

h.)  It increases the creativity of your kid..

i.) It improves the concentration of your child...

j.) Chess teaches planning and foresight... 

Chess Kenya Recent Milestones..!!

Chess Kenya has seen a tremendous success and  growth as concerns chess development in the country.Aided by major stakeholders and sponsors like: MiniChess Kenya , Light house Chess club  , Terrian Chess , Nairobi Chess Club etc. Vibrant social media sites : Chess Kenya  and  Kenya Chess Central .

Sponsors like the magnificent :  Equity Bank  and KCB Bank and mentions in mass media  ,the Daily Nation , Standard ,KBC,KTN,Citizen TV,K24  and others.

Nominated for the SOYA Awards  , WFM Sasha Mongeli  was named  as  the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) , Sports Personality of the Month for October,2018  ,while the current National Champion Dr. Ngani was also nominated in the FIDE medical board.The current Chess Kenya President Chess Kenya President is also the  Africa Chess Confederation Vice-President  ,Councillor In Social Commission FIDE.

Facilitated,  Team Kenya to Belaya Ladya in Sochi- Russia in an event organized by the Russian Chess Federation,Ministry of sports of the Russian Federation and ministry of education and science of Russian Government.

Recommendations:

  1. Implement chess as an elective in the new envisaged curriculum
  2. Seek funding via the Kenya  parliament funding,sponsors,donations ,crowdfunding etc.
  3. Establish  FIDE Academies in all national schools in all the counties  government of  Kenya
  4. Provide capacity building and professional development via the CEMASTEA CEMASTEA. and  TSC to train teachers  with collaboration with Chess Kenya trainers.
  5. Chess to be included in the Ministry of Education ; calendar for Sports, Co-Curricular activities  and the Federation of East Africa Secondary Schools Sports Associations .
  6. Enable chess curriculum,  resources and materials through schools,national libraries Kenya National Library Service,social halls,refugees  ,inmates and  Kenya Prison Service.
  7. Petition the East Africa Legislative Assembly and the African Union to ratify the initiative  :  Chess A Tool for Education & Health,for all the countries in Africa and the World at large...!!!