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.