Successful Chess Seminar wraps up

The Ministry of Education through the Unit of Allied Arts collaborated with the Guyana Chess Federation to conduct a four-day chess seminar which culminated today at the School of the Nations in Georgetown.

The seminar targeted teachers from 15 schools including private schools and representatives of the Federation. The schools are Queen’s College, President’s College, St. Rose’s High School, St. Joseph High School, Skeldon Line Path Secondary School, Richard Ishmael Secondary School, Uitvlugt Secondary School, J.C Chandisingh Secondary School, Vryman’s Erven Secondary School, McKenzie Primary School, St. Barnabas Special School, Westminster Secondary School, Harold B Davis Special School, Qayyim Academy and School of the Nations.

The facilitator of the seminar was Mr. Jerry Nash, Chairman of the Chess in Education Foundation. According to Mr. Nash, the seminar was a “Preparation of Teachers” course and the teachers who complete the course successfully will carry the title of School Instructor through the International Chess Federation (FIDE).

He said that the course teaches the basics of chess but also helps teachers to use Chess to teach academic and 21st Century skills. Mr. Nash noted that though the program can produce great chess players, the goal is for every student to be able to get academic and 21st Century skills faster with longer retention using chess.

He explained that entire game of chess isn’t played but rather a few of the pieces are used to play mini games to teach a variety of skills such as critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, decision making and communication. “Those are 21st Century skills, every student needs that, not just chess players, and not just for the classroom but for the rest of their life,” Mr. Nash noted.

According to the facilitator, the idea is not to add chess as an additional activity to the school timetable but to incorporate the sport into the daily teaching of subjects, when possible, to enhance the learning experience for children.