Gambia: GCF Launches Chess in Schools Programmes

The Gambia Chess Federation (GCF), in collaboration with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, last Friday launched the Chess sport in schools in The Gambia.

The event was held at the education ministry in Banjul.

The program is aimed at widening the thinking 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, education officials consider introducing chess in the school curriculum would help students.

Speaking at the ceremony, Amadou Jallow, GCF President commended the ministry for supporting his federation to launch the programmes, saying it has been the federation's dream to have the game introduced in 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 programme is launched, adding that with the support of the education ministry and FIDE, there is high hope for the smooth implementation of the programme.

Plans, he says, are already outlined on how to get the programme started.

Deputy Permanent Secretary at MoBSE Jerreh Sanyang lauded the chess federation's commitment and resilience to have the game introduced in the school curriculum.

He said, chess is a game that sharpens a person's mind and having it introduced 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 reiterated the ministry's commitment to provide quality and accessible education to all Gambians. He highlighted that in chess, every move is important as it improves players' concentration.

More than twenty schools have been identified across the country for the introduction of chess in the schools.

The programme will be coordinated by the chess federation and supported by MoBSE and the chess world governing body 'FIDE.

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