Monday, May 4, 2009
PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT INCLUDES CHESS IN SCHOOLS CURRICULUM
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo approved inclusion of chess in schools curriculum in primary and secondary schools across the country. National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) President Prospero Pichay and Department of Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus signed the Memorandum of Agreement the other day launching the National Chess Academy. Witnessing the signing were NCFP secretary-general Mayor Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino, NCFP Director Brother Roly Dizon, NCFP Executive Director Willie Abalos and Department of Education officials.
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (center) graced the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) President Prospero Pichay (seated right), witnessed by NCFP Secretary General Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino and NCFP Executive Director Willy Abalos, and Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Jeslie Lapus (seated left) with DepEd officials.
Posing after the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement. At far left is Brother Roly Dizon, former president of the De La Salle University in Manila and member of the NCFP Board.
The NCFP Chess in Schools Committee, clockwise from left: FIDE Delegate Casto Abundo, Brother Roly Dizon, Committee Chairman Saturnino Belen, IA Bobby Bautista, GM Bong Villamayor and Coordinator Jessie Sanchez.
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo issued the Executive Order to encourage children to play chess in accordance with the Grassroots Program of the Philippine Sports Commission.
Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Jesli A. Lapus issued a memorandum entitled "Strengthening the Development of Higher Order Thinking Skills and Values Among Children Through Chess."
Secretary Lapus said that children exposed to chess learn faster and get better grades. He has ordered the integration of chess into the curriculum of grade school and high school students.
"Chess is a game that improves individual organizational and analytical skills. Children when exposed to this game at an early age achieve academically better, or even faster than those who have not been engaged in the game. Likewise, chess is among the activities that help build memory skills, concentration, self-confidence, self-esteem and in making disciplined decisions. Playing chess provides opportunities to practice such values as perseverance, honesty, and sportsmanship," Secretary Lapus stated in the Memorandum.
The Department of Education (DepEd) shall adopt chess as another strategy to promote the development of higher order thinking skills and values among Grades 3 to 6 in the Physical Education department. Chess will continue at the secondary level.
Brother Rolando Dizon, former president of the De La Salle University and member of the NCFP Board of Directors, said that the DepEd and NCFP shall conduct "Chess Training Seminar/Workshops for DepEd Coordinators" at the First Asia Institute of Technology and Humanities (FAITH) in Tanauan City in Batangas. FAITH president Saturnino G. Belen, Jr. who is also a member of the NCFP Board was tapped by Prospero Pichay to head the NCFP Chess in Schools Committee. Belen is also a member of the FIDE Commission on Chess In Schools.
Coordinator Jessie Sanchez announced that the seminars will be on May 7-9 and 10-12 in Tanauan; May 14-16 in Bacolod City and May 19-21 in Davao City.
Grandmaster Bong Villamayor shall lead the team of accredited lectures and supervise the examination for instructors.
In the Philippine public school system, there are around 35,000 Grade Schools and some 6,000 High Schools. There are over 2,000 private High Schools. Brother Dizon said they aim to train 35,000 chess teachers by November 2009.
Tournaments and Matches will be conducted among school children. NCFP Executive Director Willy Abalos said that the National Inter-Collegiate Championship shall be held 18-22 August at the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) in Munoz, Nueva Ecija.
Brother Dizon said that the Philippine University Games shall be held October 23 to 26, 2009 in Bacolod City.
The Committee met with Asian Chess Federation Deputy President Casto Abundo to map out the strategy. Key to the program are training and licensing of instructors, review and endorsement of chess equipment and publications, nationwide series of tournaments and matches between schools and establishment of chess clubs throughout the archipelago.