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Andorra 2011 Report
Saturday, 26 November 2011 13:10
2011_informe_escacs_escolar_x_fide_endoc97-2003.doc

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CHESS IN ANDORRA SCHOOLS REPORT 2011

2011

F.I.D.E.

CHESS IN SCHOOLS IN THE PRINCIPALITY OF ANDORRA

EVOLUTION OF CLASSES AT ANDORRAN SCHOOLS

CHART: EVOLUTION OF WEEKLY CLASSES (2008/2012)

DEMAND FOR CLASSES - 2011/12 ACADEMIC YEAR

WORK ASSESSMENT

INTRODUCTION

CHESS IN SCHOOLS IN THE PRINCIPALITY OF ANDORRA

This project started in Andorra in 1987, and virtually all schools in the country have taken part in it throughout the years. As a result, many school children have received chess lessons at school, thus incorporating to their education the psycho-pedagogical benefits involved in the practice of this sport.

Nowadays two full-time teachers work in the project, FM Raül García and GM Oscar de la Riva, both with a wide teaching experience.

The goal of the project is to train children in chess general principles and to educate them beyond the sport practice, given the virtues of chess as an educational tool to introduce abstract concepts (such as consequences of decision-making, planning, tactics and strategy, calculation...).

Chess is unanimously considered as a deeply intellectual pastime. However, several studies show that this sport constitutes a powerful educational tool as well. Calculation, concentration, responsibility and decision-making are some of the skills that can be improved by practicing chess during childhood.

More than two centuries ago Goethe defined chess as “the touchstone of the intellect”. From that time, wide research has produced similar results: chess has a positive influence in personality building and its practice assists students in assimilating new knowledge.

One of the most worrying problems for educators and one of the top causes of school failure is child distraction. Our environment offers more and more superficial and quick stimuli (television, videogames, computers...), and demands less concentration. Many teenagers find it difficult to face tasks requiring mental effort, such as exams, practical or even studying. Chess offers training for these tasks, being at the same time “fun” - since it is a game. Chess may help students to discipline their concentration and apply it successfully when necessary.

Nowadays, chess is present in a wide number of education centres, from primary schools to universities. Besides, UNESCO has advised its member states to include chess in their educational systems.

Some benefits chess can offer to children:

        Learning to analyze problems in a systematic way

        Reasoning the answers

        Conclusion and resolution of problems

        Evaluating advantages and disadvantages before making a decision

        Taking responsibility for actions and accepting their consequences

        Increasing independence and self-control

        Planning


PERIOD 2008 - 2012

EVOLUTION OF CLASSES AT ANDORRAN SCHOOLS

Chess lessons in Andorran schools have significantly changed in the last years following the guidelines proposed by the Ministry of Sport.

The main changes started in the 2007-2008 academic year. At that time, the Andorra Chess Federation (FEVA) had three full-time teachers and worked in 21 education centres belonging to three educational systems. A balance was maintained between chess lessons in school hours and after school hours, the latter being slightly higher.

The Ministry of Sport suggested a clearer separation for chess lectures given during school hours, since those fell under the competence of the Ministry of Education. We were requested to reach agreements with the three educational systems in order to assume the necessary competences to carry out these classes.

Then the FEVA started the proceedings to validate its “Programa d’Escacs Escolar” (Chess in Schools Program) with the three educational systems coexisting in the country (Andorran, Spanish and French) with the aim of regularizing the situation at the request of the Ministry of Sport.

As a result, the FEVA started to modify its criteria. In the following academic years chess was gradually introduced in school hours in those educational centres which requested it. Eventually we arrived at the current situation: the percentage of chess lessons in school hours has soared over after school hours, as shown in the following charts.

According to the data supplied by the department of statistics of the Government of Andorra, the number of students in primary school in 2010 was 4263, which means that 24,09% of school children from 6 to 12 years old have chess training at school.


PERIOD 2008 - 2012

CHART: EVOLUTION OF WEEKLY CLASSES

Hours ACADEMIC YEAR 2008/09

Hours ACADEMIC YEAR 2009/10

Hours ACADEMIC YEAR 2010/11

Hours ACADEMIC YEAR 2011/12

School

After Sch.

School ho.

Total

Children

After Sch.

School ho.

Total

Children

After Sch.

School ho.

Total

Children

After Sch.

School ho.

Total

Children

Andorran Canillo

1:00

1:00

41

1:00

1:00

53

1:00

1:00

50

1:00

1:00

*

Andorran Encamp

1:00

1:00

23

1:00

1:00

18

Andorran Escaldes

2:00

2:00

64

2:00

2:00

76

Andorran Ordino

1:00

1:00

2:00

72

1:00

1:00

36

1:00

1:00

17

1:00

1:00

2:00

*

Andorran La Massana

2:00

1:00

3:00

103

2:00

2:00

4:00

122

1:00

2:00

3:00

126

1:00

2:00

3:00

*

Andorran Sant Julià

2:00

2:00

56

Andorran Santa Coloma

2:00

2:00

68

2:00

1:00

3:00

84

10:00

10:00

223

9:00

9:00

*

Spanish Andorra

1:00

1:00

24

1:00

1:00

15

1:00

1:00

24

1:00

1:00

*

Spanish Encamp

0:30

0:30

16

0:30

0:30

17

Spanish Escaldes

Spanish Sant Julià

0:30

0:30

4

0:30

0:30

8

1:00

1:00

*

French Andorra

1:30

3:00

4:30

76

2:00

3:00

5:00

94

3:00

3:00

80

2:00

4:00

6:00

*

French Encamp

0:30

5:30

6:00

108

0:30

6:00

6:30

76

9:30

9:30

117

6:00

6:00

*

French Escaldes

1:00

5:00

6:00

124

0:00

5:00

5:00

122

5:00

5:00

116

7:00

7:00

*

French Ordino

1:00

1:00

33

1:00

1:00

30

1:00

1:00

13

1:00

1:00

*

French Canillo

0:00

1:30

1:30

39

1:30

1:30

35

1:30

1:30

25

1:30

1:30

*

French La Massana

2:00

2:00

38

3:00

3:00

64

2:00

2:00

*

French Sant Julià

0:30

0:30

21

0:30

0:30

17

1:00

1:00

*

Col·legi Janer

2:00

2:00

57

2:00

2:00

76

2:00

2:00

44

2:00

2:00

*

Sant Ermengol

1:00

1:00

23

1:00

1:00

22

1:00

1:00

28

1:00

1:00

*

Sagrada Família

1:00

1:00

13

1:00

1:00

25

1:00

1:00

*

Escola dels Pirineus

0:00

8:00

8:00

106

7:00

7:00

98

9:00

9:00

100

8:00

8:00

*

19:30

25:00

44:30

1015

21:00

27:30

48:30

1118

8:00

43:00

51:00

1027

15:00

38:30

53:30

*

(*) data not yet available; slightly more than 1000 students predicted.

This chart clearly shows the evolution of chess classes at education centres in the Principality of Andorra.


2011 – 2012 ACADEMIC YEAR

DEMAND FOR CLASSES

The current economic situation of FEVA does not allow us to hire a third full-time teacher. We have been unable to find a part-time teacher as we did for the 2009-2010 academic year.

The demand for classes in schools has exceeded all expectations. However, we have been unable to cover all of them and some schools traditionally offering this activity have had to stop or the number of hours has been reduced.

The basic selection criteria have been school timetables and mobility. We have tried to optimize the available resources while designing the teachers' schedules as homogeneous as possible. This academic year both teachers have 27 teaching hours per week at schools. We have to add to this their teaching hours at clubs and “comuns” and the commutes.

This year, about 16 teaching hours per week in after school time have disappeared. All these hours had been regularly covered in the last years.

There have been some pending hours as well in school time. Since the demand was impossible to meet due to teachers' saturation, there have been no conversations this year with education centres of the French system not yet in the program, nor with the centres of the Andorran system. However, some of these centres may be incorporated later or in the next academic year.

Of course, FEVA's aim is to try to incorporate these schools in the next academic years, although in this moment this is complicated due to lack of qualified staff to meet the demand. The following chart shows the demand for classes we have been unable to meet this year:

Weekly Classes - 2011/12 Academic Year

School

Demand

After School

School Hours

Total

Andorran Canillo

1:00

1:00

Andorran Encamp

1:00

Andorran Escaldes

2:00

Andorran Ordino

1:00

1:00 

2:00

Andorran La Massana

1:00

1:00

2:00

3:00

Andorran Sant Julià

2:00

Andorran Santa Coloma

1:00

9:00

9:00

Spanish Andorra

1:00

1:00

1:00

Spanish Encamp

1:00

Spanish Escaldes

2:00

Spanish Sant Julià

1:00

1:00

French Andorra

1:00

2:00

4:00

6:00

French Encamp

1:00

6:00

6:00

French Escaldes

1:00

7:00

7:00

French Ordino

1:00

1:00

1:00

French Canillo

1:30

1:30

French La Massana

2:00

2:00

French Sant Julià

1:00

1:00

Col·legi Janer

2:00

2:00

Sant Ermengol

1:00

1:00

1:00

Sagrada Família

1:00

1:00

Escola dels Pirineus

8:00

8:00

16:00

15:00

38:30

53:30

Schools on red font do not have chess lessons this year. The next column shows the amount of hours requested at the beginning of the academic year or given last year and stopped, for a total of 16 hours per week. However, this number might increase if some school should decide to introduce chess lessons in school time. Andorra Chess Federation has not offered this possibility, since the demand could not be met with the teachers currently available.


Andorran Chess Federation (FEVA)

WORK ASSESSMENT

The Andorran Chess Federation (FEVA) is quite pleased with the work developed in the education centres in the Principality of Andorra. We are fully convinced that chess constitutes an excellent educational tool which enhances development in those students who practise the sport. Moreover, chess offers the following advantages in personality building:

  • Chess connects people from different generations and cultures, since its practice requires interaction with others and reconcile perspectives. This helps children soften and overcome their natural egocentrism.
  • As any other game, chess is a competitive activity which enhances the development of skills to fight in life.
  • Ethics: to play chess it is necessary to respect the rules, the result and the opponents.
  • The children themselves make their own decisions at the board: this strengthens their character, as they learn to take responsibility for their decisions.
  • Chess helps children learn to organize thinking and predict situations. It trains them to think before acting. The “touch-move rule” implies irreversible decisions and therefore prior reflection is necessary before touching a piece.
  • Chess encourages self-improvement and problem solving.
  • Chess exercises memory and concentration, teaching children to identify and classify information to build patterns. This allows them to learn and assimilate knowledge faster by establishing cause-effect relations, drawing their own conclusions and working to achieve their own goals.
  • Chess develops creativity, which will be basic to solve problems in the academic and daily life.
  • Chess develops patience and perseverance.
  • Chess increases attention and self-esteem.
  • Chess helps develop cognitive abilities, both verbal and numerical, which favour learning: logic reasoning, emotional intelligence and intuition.
  • Chess exercises the ability to keep attention focused on two or more situations at the same time.
  • Chess fosters study habits, as well and reading and research on the fields of Philosophy, Mathematics and Computer Science.
  • Being a board game, chess can be played anywhere.

Chess teaching continues this year during school hours in the Andorran school in Andorra. This centre offers chess in first and second cycles of primary education. Up to now the Federation evaluates this experience very positively: working in small groups is good and children gradually progress. The project has consolidated this second year and the evaluation is very positive, but the real impact can only be measured in some years, when the syllabus is completed. In any case, we will have to wait two years, when the centre is regularized.

At some point, Janer School carried out chess activities for many years between 3rd and 6th grade (9 to 12-year-old children), so all students received four years of chess training. Of course, this has been for many years the model where the FEVA used to enjoy the ideal space to work, with homogeneous activity and excellent conditions for the teacher to develop his task. Actually, the book “i Mat 1” (...“and Mate”) produced by FEVA was initially inspired by this educational project. Unfortunately, the situation in 2008 caused the lessons in school hours to be stopped, but this activity may well return some day.

Another school has been regularly using chess as an educational tool for seven years: the Escola dels Pirineus. Here students attend chess lessons for seven years, since they are 5 year olds to the end of primary education. Chess is just another tool in this school and teachers, educators and psychologists often meet to know the teacher's opinion with the aim of improving learning and overcome deficiencies.

For FEVA, the ideal situation would be to be present in all centres demanding chess in order to work regularly with the students. The goal is always to use this potential educational tool to help their development and training, while at the same time cooperating with tutors to monitor students when necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEDERACIÓ D’ESCACS VALLS D’ANDORRA

CASAL DE L'ESPORT

Baixada del Molí, 31-35

AD500 - Andorra la Vella - ANDORRA

AD555 - Apartat de correus 2009

TEL.: +376 890364 / 340784 # F: +376 890357

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

www.escacsandorra.com

 
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