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World Chess body donates equipment to BCF

NALEDI LEMOGANG
Building blocks: Plans are underway to include the game in the school cirriculum
The World Chess Federation (FIDE) has donated 200 chess sets and 50 chess clocks to the Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) despite the fact that their request to introduce chess in the school curriculum has not been approved yet.

Three months ago, FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumshinov paid a visit to Botswana in order to formally request the Ministry of Basic Education to accept chess as a subject in schools.  The ministry was excited to hear that the programme can contribute positively to the academic results of students.

BCF spokesperson, Kutlwano Tatolo said since the meeting between the FIDE president IIyumzhinov, and the Minister of Basic Education Unity Dow some progress has been made towards the chess-in-schools initiative.

She said FIDE donated chess sets and clocks and they were distributed to 30 schools around the country.

“Chess being introduced in schools as a subject of study has not been approved. However, we have been given a go ahead to do chess as an after school programme,” Tatolo said.

She said they believe that that more support from the government and FIDE will also follow in future until they reach the success

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rate that Russia has accomplished after most of the schools adopted chess in their school programme.

“The permanent secretary of Ministry of Basic Education Grace Muzila while in Russia managed to visit to the FIDE offices and they showed her some of the schools that have adopted chess in schools programmes and she said she was impressed with the success of the programme,” she added.

Speaking during his visit in August, Ilyumshinov promised to assist Botswana with resources such as books, chess equipment and help with training if they can sign a memorandum of agreement with FIDE. His belief is that this initiative can improve students’ academic results.

He wanted Botswana to introduce chess as part of the learning curriculum since the idea came out with positive educational results in countries that have adopted the initiative and that their target is to reach one billion chess knowledgeable generation.



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