France - developments
Sunday, 22 April 2012 09:39
fra_aff_chpt_france_jeunes_2012_smallFirst, a useful idea we could all adopt. Second, a very important development.

Agreed draws were not permitted in this year's Youth Championships. This change proved to be a great success.

In January, the Ministry of Education issued an important notice to all education authorities in the country. This was an article in the "Bulletin officiel" (No.3 of 2012, 19 January). It relates to the introduction of chess in schools. The relevant text (direct link) is in Actions éducatives (under Enseignements primaire et secondaire). 

Here is a translation of perhaps the most important part of the text: The plan for science and technology in schools   expects teachers to use traditional games, such as chess, which helps the development of pupils' motivation and concentration, andencourages an independence of mind. Teachers will soon receive a guide about how to use chess as an educational tool...

The scheme is being piloted nationally. We will try to keep you informed of developments.

If you read French, and to save you the trouble of using the links above, here is the full text:

England - Richard James shares some thoughts
Sunday, 22 April 2012 09:29
eng_chess_for_kids_smallcoverRichard James is well-known for his writings on chess in schools, especially the pedagogical side. He has just started a series of articles talking about chess education in general, but with special reference to England. England was arguably the leading country in the world for schools chess for a considerable portion of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. What went wrong? What can be done? We should learn a lot from Richard's thoughts.

His first proposition: England is way behind much of the world in junior chess, specifically in terms of strength in depth. We need to look at what’s happening in other, culturally similar, countries in Western Europe, and see how we can learn from them.

You can read Richard's biography and find links to all his web sites here.
Israel Project
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 11:51
israel_classWe last reported on this project here in October last year.

The project, launched by the FIDE President, is a joint effort involving the Israel Chess Federation and the Ministry of Education.

There are now 3200 pupils of the 'Second Class' (age 8) taking part in the project.

FIDE Vice President Israel Gelfer and the project coordinator, R. Tal, recently visited one of the 106 classes and kindly sent us some photos.

The schools are situated in 12 cities, located in 10 municipalities, including 3 Arabic-speaking, of which one, Beduin, in the South of the country has attracted a great deal of attention.

The pilot project runs until the end of June.

Click on Read More for another photo, showing the great enthusiasm of the kids; the girls just as much as the boys.

India - Gujarat, Tamil Nadu & Maharashtra
Monday, 05 December 2011 09:01
We are pleased to present an outline of the most important developments in India, sent by our member Ravindra M. Dongre. 

aicf_logoIn India Chess is a very popular game and is played in many schools across the country. Also there are several Inter-School Chess Tournaments in almost every district of the country. 

However, chess was not introduced officially in the schools until two years ago, when this was first done in the state of Gujarat. Thanks to the initiative of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, chess was introduced as a subject in schools.

It is taught twice a week in every school of Gujarat.

South Africa
Thursday, 01 December 2011 23:11

mandelaThere are many countries where the work of getting chess into the schools is complicated. South Africa is a good example. The national federation has overall responsibility and works, following normal protocol, with both the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Sport. Then there are other initiatives, notably Moves for Life, who now have the involvement of the Kasparov Chess Foundation and also cooperate with the David MacEnulty Chess Foundation. It is not easy to get all the initiatives working together in the same direction. In South Africa they seem to be close to agreeing a unified way forward, perhaps inspired by one of Nelson Mandela’s most famous quotes “It always seems impossible until it's done.” 

Our thanks to Emelia Ellappen, President of the South African Chess Federation, to David MacEnulty and to Kelvin Kemm, Watu Kobese, Afrika Msimang and Marisa van der Merwe of Moves for Life. They have all, one way or another, provided some of the material that follows in this lengthy report.

The report is in three sections:
1. From the Dederation's web site.
2. David MacEnulty's report.
3. Moves for Life report on their developments.

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