By Prince Ojee
The Gambia Chess Federation (GCF), in collaboration with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, recently launched the Chess in school program in The Gambia. The event was held at the education ministry in Banjul.
The program is aimed at further widening the thinking capacity and intelligence of students in their academic performance in school.
Records have shown that students playing Chess perform better in mathematics and science subjects than those who do not. Cognizant of this and other benefits the game can add to student’s intelligence and mind set, education officials considered introducing chess in the school curriculum.
Speaking at the ceremony, Amado Jallow, GCF President commended the ministry for supporting his federation to launch the program, saying it has been the federation’s dream to have games inculcated into the school system.
“We had to work for a couple of years to achieve this great feat knowing that chess can add value in our educational system by helping students do well in critical subjects,” he said.
Mr Jallow thanked Musa Mendy who played a vital role in ensuring the program is launched, adding that with the support of education ministry and FIDE there is high hope for a smooth implementation of the program.
According to him, plans are already outlined on how to get the program started.
Deputy Permanent Secretary at MoBSE Jerreh Sanyang lauded the chess federation’s commitment and resilience to have chess introduced in the school curriculum.
He said, chess is a game that sharpen a person’s mind and having it inculcated it in the education system will greatly help students perform better in mathematics and science subjects like it had proven in other countries, including the US, Russia among others.
Mr Sanyang also reiterate the ministry’s commitment to provide a quality and accessible education to all Gambians. He highlighted that in chess every move is important as it improves players concentration and thinking before making moves.
More than twenty schools have been identified across the country for the introduction of chess in the school system with the materials already in the country.
The program will be coordinated by the chess federation and supported by MoBSE and the chess world governing body ‘FIDE’