Fort Wellington Sec. benefits from Chess in Schools initiative

−Schools in Region 3, 6, 10 already benefiting from initiative

Dept of Sport to host National Inter-Schools Chess Championship

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, October 3, 2019

Today, students and teachers of the Fort Wellington Secondary School in Region 5 (Mahaica-Berbice) have the opportunity to learn to play the strategic game of chess through the Department of Sport’s ‘Chess-in-Schools – Grassroots Initiative’.

According to Director of Sport, Christopher Jones, this initiative is a nationwide one which aims at implementing chess in schools not only as an extracurricular activity but also as an educational tool.

“Chess contributes to mental development such as critical thinking which has proven to help students academically and ultimately in life… the NSC [National Sports Commission] realises the additional value chess can add to Guyana’s school system and will continue to promote this initiative nationwide,” Jones explained.

He added that over 100 countries worldwide promote the Chess-in-School programme including Russia, China, Armenia and several European countries.

The Sport Director disclosed that World Chess Federation (FIDE) National Instructor, Wendell Meusa will soon be hosting a one-week training programme for teachers and students from Byvegal, Bush Lot, Fort Wellington and Mahaicony Secondary.

This training exercise run from October 7-10 for the students while training for the teachers will be held on October 11. Following the conclusion of the programme, Jones said a one-day beginners’ tournament will be held on October 12 at the Fort Wellington Secondary.

Thus far, the department has visited and implemented this initiative in schools from Regions 3, 6, 10 and now 5.  It is expected that the two top teams will go on to compete against Berbice High School in New Amsterdam, ultimately aiming to represent the region.

In 2018, the department in collaboration with the Ministry of Education conducted Part One of the Chess-in-Schools -Teachers’ Training Programme which targeted teachers from Primary and Secondary schools.

This programme was structured around the FIDE Chess-in-School initiative and follows the implementation steps of countries such as Armenia, Russia, USA, China and even Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados to have chess implemented in schools mandatory as a subject or as an after-school club.

The Sport Director revealed that his department plans to host a National Inter-Schools Chess Championship so that students can compete against each other in a healthy, clean game.