CHESS will finally be made part of the school curriculum, per DepEd Memorandum No. 1 series of 2009, issued on January 8.

    Education Secretary Jesli Lapuz said that the Department of Education will adopt Chess as a strategy to promote the development of higher order thinking skills and values Grades 3-6 in the subject Edukasyon sa Pagpapalakas ng Katawan (Physical Education), as well as in the Physical Education classes of high school students.

    Global studies have shown that Chess is a game that improves individual organizational and analytic skills, Secretary Lapus said. Children when exposed to this game at an early age achieved academically better or even faster than those who have not been engaged in this game.

    Chess is an exercise of infinite possibilities for the mind, one which develops mental ability throughout life such as concentration, critical thinking abstract reasoning, problem solving, pattern recognition, strategic planning, creativity, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Chess can be used very effectively as a tool to teach problem solving and abstract reasoning. Learning to solve a problem is more important than learning the solution to any problem. Through chess, we learn how to analyze a situation by focusing on important factors and by eliminating distractions. We learn to devise creative solutions and put a plan into action. Chess works because it is self motivating. The game has fascinated humans for almost 2,000 years, and the goals to attack and defense, culminating in checkmate, inspire us to dig in our mental reserves.

    In order to facilitate the successful inclusion of Chess in the curriculum, Secretary Lapuz has given specific directives to the DepEd Central, Regional and Division offices. He has directed the Division Offices to conduct mapping of Chess experts in the community to mentor teachers and children. The division Offices have been directed to purchase chess sets using their MOOE and to provide each school with Chess sets following the three sets per class ratio. School divisions are also responsible for training a core of supervisors, principals or teachers who will mentor other teachers about the game . The division will also monitor and evaluate the social effects of chess on children. While the DepEd-regional offices will monitor the use of chess as a strategy to develop higher order skills and values and to provide technical assistance. The DepEd-central office in turn will formulate guidelines, manuals or lesson exemplars on the use of chess and track the program’s impact on students.


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