Metropoli­tan in­jects M320 000 into chess

Lesotho Times - - Business - Retha­bile Pitso

METROPOLI­TAN Le­sotho yes­ter­day in­jected M320 000 into the mini-chess pro­gramme which aims to de­velop the sport among pri­mary school chil­dren.

The pro­gramme was launched in Le­sotho two years ago in 10 pri­mary schools and tar­gets chil­dren be­tween the ages of 5-9 years.

Speak­ing at the han­dover cer­e­mony yes­ter­day at St James Angli­can Pri­mary School, Chess Fed­er­a­tion of Le­sotho (CFL) Pres­i­dent Tšeliso Mot­lo­h­eloa lauded the in­sur­ance gi­ant for the ges­ture, adding the pro­gramme had sharp­ened the chil­dren’s cog­ni­tive skills among other ben­e­fits.

“We are grate­ful to Metropoli­tan Le­sotho, whose do­na­tion will help with the buy­ing of teach­ing aids, tour­ney prizes and also pay the salaries of the fa­cil­i­ta­tors,” he said.

“Many stud­ies have re­vealed that chess con­trib­utes towards sharp­en­ing crit­i­cal cog­ni­tive and prob­lem-solv­ing skills. Chil­dren who study this sub­ject have been known to ex­cel in such sub­jects as math­e­mat­ics.”

Mr Mot­lo­h­eloa also thanked the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion for in­clud­ing chess in pri­mary schools’ cur­ricu­lum.

“We are glad the min­istry de­cided to in­clude chess in the syl­labus be­cause it also helps chil­dren learn es­pe­cially cour­ses that in­clude math­e­mat­ics,” he said.

“We in­tro­duced the con­cept in 2014 which was spon­sored by the Kas­parov Chess Foun­da­tion, named af­ter the World Chess Cham­pion Garry Kas­parov, as a seedling pro­gramme.”

Other schools ben­e­fit­ing from the pro­gramme are Iket­set­seng Pri­mary School, Masianokeng Pri­mary School, Phetha­hatso English Medium and Mo­hale’s Hoek Pri­mary.

Metropoli­tan Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Mar­ket­ing Con­sul­tant Tšokolo Makeka said they in­vested into the pro­gramme af­ter not­ing its ben­e­fits for the chil­dren’s de­vel­op­ment.

“We as­sessed the ben­e­fits this pro­gramme would bring to young peo­ple. As a com­pany that sup­ports such ini­tia­tives, we did not hes­i­tate to make our con­tri­bu­tion,” he said.

“We are here to sup­port peo­ple who are in­tend on im­prov­ing their lives. The M320 000 we are pre­sent­ing today is meant to pre­vent the prob­lem of lack of re­sources.”

St James Pri­mary School Prin­ci­pal ‘Malipuo Mo­lapo chipped in say­ing the pro­gramme had con­trib­uted sig­nif­i­cantly to im­prov­ing the learn­ers’ nu­mer­acy and lit­er­acy lev­els.

“We have no­ticed a re­mark­able im­prove­ment from chil­dren who en­rolled in this pro­gramme. Our pupils are very ac­tive in class dur­ing les­sons and this has re­sulted in good math­e­mat­ics and read­ing skills,” she said.

“Chil­dren have also be­come very con­fi­dent about them­selves and are now quite out­spo­ken. The pro­gramme first started with grade one pupils, and this year it has cov­ered grade two and three pupils.”

Mr Makeka holds the mock cheque with other of­fi­cials dur­ing the han­dover cer­e­mony.

Metropoli­tan Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Mar­ket­ing Con­sul­tant tšokolo Makeka with St James pri­mary School pupils.

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