Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Chess in RP curriculum is not all about producing masters

Don't get our government wrong. Chess in RP is not all about producing GMs nor about Wesley So.
Photo courtesy of BoholSundayPost.net

One of the common misconceptions about the inclusion of chess in school curriculum in the Philippines is that some people thinks that the NCFP (National Chess Federation of the Philippines) and DepEd (Department of Education) move will eventually hampers the progress of GM Wesley So nor it will produce (overnight!) chess masters. That is not the case. First of all, Philippine chess is not all about Wesley So. This is a democratic nation where all have the rights for fair share of learning and personal development. By laying out and asking what is good for Wesley So and Philippine chess that is beyond my country's resources is not in the province of this blog. Another thing. Some argue that NCFP and DepEd's program is not the the wisest of moves in producing future Grandmasters. First and foremost, the NCFP and the DepED main objective is to help the children enjoy the mental and emotional benefits of playing chess. For the benefits of playing chess with children, please read THIS and THIS. If the program of the DepED eventually results in young chess champions, then that's good. NCFP will be more than ready to help this kids. That's a plus for our country. But the government's program is not necessarily centered on that objective. Let us break this issue into pieces.

  • chess is just a part of Physical Education subject in school like badminton, volleyball, basketball etc. It doesn't mean that by taking these sports, one should excel in any of them or take them as a profession, right? This is not a communist nation.
  • It is not the sole aim of DepEd to produced more GMs, rather than to promote and develop discipline, rational thinking, and sportsmanship among young people same as playing other academic sports in school.
  • chess in school is not about serious competition or tournaments. Just part of Physical Education subject.
  • NCFP alone does not need to spend millions of pesos for this program. If there were any, it should not be concentrate on Wesley So alone.
  • chess in school is cool. Children will definitely enjoy it!
  • This blogger strongly believes in the importance of education over chess.

If there's one thing this blogger learned from chess blogging for just over a year is that there is more to life than playing or writing about chess. Fighting and arguing for what is good for chess, for what is good to a chess prodigy or for what is good in Philippine chess in general for the sake of national pride is a complete waste of time and energy. Let chess teach us what is good for us other than the other way round. We should not be a slave of chess but let chess be ours.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

You maybe right. But Wesley So should get the lion share from the program since he's responsible for the revival of Philippine chess. I think it's time that our government should give something in return for what he have done for the country. Especially now that he is struggling.

-Sasha

Anonymous said...

Look at Efren Reyes, Paeng Nepomuceno and even Manny Pacquiao. These Filipinos are some of the best in their respective sports but they received little from our government support. Si Wesley e grabe ang suportang natatangpap nyan from the government and public sector papano nila sasabihin na walang suporta si Wesley dito sa pilipinas? Napaka unfair sa critko ng gobyerno natin eh. Tang ina naman. pasalamat tayo kahit papano e may programang ganito. yung anak ko grade 5 pero tuwang tuwa ng malamang may subject na chess sa school nila tapos pupunahin pa ng iba. grabe kayo!

Catolos said...

Thank you everyone for participating. Your comments and opinions are most welcome here, but I'll say it again and again and again and agian, that everyone should remain civil and respect other opinions as well. Discuss!

Julius Leviste said...

This is a great program by the DepED. The inclusion of chess is definitely a big help for the development of mental toughness, strategical thinking of our children that will surely guide them through out their life.

Julius Leviste
Malabon, Rizal

F.A. Buenaventura said...

"
If there's one thing this blogger learned from chess blogging for just over a year is that there is more to life than playing or writing about chess. Fighting and arguing for what is good for chess, for what is good to a chess prodigy or for what is good in Philippine chess in general for the sake of national pride is a complete waste of time and energy. Let chess teach us what is good for us other than the other way round. We should not be a slave of chess but let chess be ours." AMEN!

Anonymous said...

I have this thought lingering long long ago -
- How can chess be propagated in the grassroots

In my sojourn in my and my wife’s hometown, I have at least distributed 10 chess sets free, to my relatives, friends and acquaintances. These people have the interest in this sport, but lack the capability to purchase a decent chess set…which is not a priority expense in their list.

The more chess is propagated, the more well have of Wesley like revelations. Now, with the DepEd’s involvement, this set shortage will become acute,.

Imagine a 50 student class, discussing chess with only 1 miniscule chess set! and in the provinces, if they are blessed to have one.
Learning will be impeded, and interest may wane.

NOW, HOW ABOUT THIS:

What if the Grade 6 students, in their Vocational subject (we have this eons ago), have a project to fabricate the “Chess Pieces” abstractly – from locally available materials;

The pieces can easily be cut from round tree branches around 25mm in diameter. From this, the knights can be curved, pawns can be a simple cylindrical shape, Bishops pointed, etc.

A nationwide contest can be held for the design so that the pieces fabricated anywhere in the Phils should be standard in shape and size and migrating later to the Staunton standard will have a smooth sailing.

Chess board can be assigned to the girls, which can easily be fabricated from cut cartoons and squared colored papers pasted

Whats your say on this?

The Chess Connoisseur said...

D Catolos' post about chess in RP curriculum stirred up a hornet's nest simply because the view expressed by the blogger was biased and misinformed.

It is no small wonder he got a tirade from an anonymous reader that prompted him to ask "for everyone to remain civil and respect other opinions as well."

This is not to condone cursing and hurling invectives but the blogger must realize that he has a unwritten duty of writing factual and truthful items.

Find out the objectives of the inclusion of chess in the DepEd school's programs so you get your premise right instead of having something in mind and fit in the program to it.

Support for outstanding Filipino chessplayers representing the country should come from another government program or agency not that of the DepEd's.

Previously, a select group of chessplayers used to get monthly stipend from the Philippine Olympic Committee (or is it the Philippine Sports Commission?). This has now ceased for reason(s) this writer is unaware of. Why not have this practice/procedure revived and improved?

The view expressed was also simplistic and would be offending to those who has successfuly set up scholastic chess like those in the United States of America and Australia. Are you aware of this, Mr Catolos?

Bottomline: read well, research well about topics a blogger would like to post. Just because one is the blogger doesn't mean one can write just about any opinion of his. Ask any trained and educated journalist about it. Blogging, I would say, is another form of journalism, albeit, in a less formal setting.

I hope this is of help to all parties.

-TCC

By D.T. Catolos said...

hi to you TCC, thanks for your comment. I'm afraid you misinterpreted my words completely (internet trend). I'm not referring to comment(s) about a particular reader who disapproves with my post but it was directed to other commenter in this blog actually. In other words, they are fighting in my comment box. commenter vs. commenter in an ugly scene and their argument is not directly with this blogger. Being a conservative, I have to remind them to respect other opinions in a gentlemanly way (like yours). Fortunately, I create more friends than enemy with this blog.

thanks for your comment and you are most welcome here to participate anytime.

I have also an intensive background in sports publishing for years in case you didn't know :)

D.t. Catolos