36 teachers and 20 psychologists will attend trainings to get ready for the “Chess in School” pilot project. The trainings will start May 29 in Almaty, who will then embark on pursuing the project from September 1.
Initiated by the Kazakhstan Chess Federation and the Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation, the pilot project will introduce chess to approximately 1 500 second graders starting the new academic at elementary schools in Almaty, Kyzylorda and Pavlodar.
Starting September 1 2017, 18 schools in Almaty, Kyzylorda, Pavlodar and the Pavlodar region will have a new “Chess” subject on their curriculum. Sponsored by the Yessenov foundation, each of the selected schools will have one of their classrooms equipped with 20 chess boards and pieces, a demonstration board, projector, speakers and a screen, laptop, printer and textbooks, workbooks and teacher’s books specially issued for the program.
– The subject will be taught once a week at the participating school. There will be 42 second grades overall. We also have printed chess curriculum guide series written by Kazakhstan’s famous chess players, Flyura Khasanova and Gulmira Dauletova, that are in both Kazakh and Russian, – reported the Yessenov foundation’s Executive Director Aiganym Malisheva.
The training for the teachers will be take place in several cities – Almaty (8 trainees), Kyzylorda (12 trainees) and Pavlodar (16 trainees). The training program will be taught by the authors of the textbooks and FIDE arbiters. In Kyzylorda and Almaty, pilot project psychologists will be trained by professors of the Korkyt Ata Kyzylorda State University, Almagul Ayaganova and Sholpan Imangaliyeva. Those professors have developed tests and will deliver a research method to their classrooms. In Pavlodar city the professor of the Pavlodar State university of S. Toraygyrov, , Adil Samekin, PhD, will train school psychologists.
– The main requirement of the pilot project is to provide one class out of two parallel ones, where young students can learn how to play chess, and to record the positive impact that learning chess may have on students’ minds. The project organizers will use the recorded information to make a decision about the program’s extension, and if the improvement is significant, the program can be introduced at schools nationwide. To record the impact, project psychologists will observe improvements in student’s concentration, memory, and thinking, several times during the project, at the beginning and the end, and in the middle of the academic year, – explained the Executive director of the Kazakhstan Chess Federation, Irina Grishchenko