Now we play chess in schools in The Gambia
In The Gambia they shall introduce chess as subject in the schools. The idea is that the skills one must learn in order to play chess are also valuable in other subjects. But they lag material and instructors. We have taken upon us to help in the schools in the area around Choya.
It is the Gambian Chess Federation that has convinced the Ministry of Education about this. They have identified 30 schools throughout the country to start and try out the idea. The ministry shall provide the chess material. But this is not happening fast. And they have not agreed on how to get instructors.
Twelve of the 30 schools are in the Central region, the region where Choya is situated. There is a local chess federation there, but the leader, Abdourahman, told us that his chessboard is the only chessboard in his town. So it is difficult to promote the interest for the game.
Now, it is so that many chess clubs in Europa are replacing their old chess material, for example buying electronic chess clocks instead of the manual ones. We undertook to look for chess clubs that would donate some of their used, but intact, chessboards, chess pieces, and chess clocks. We would bring these to The Gambia on future visits if we could fit them into the airplane luggage. At the same time we undertook to support Abdourahman with transport costs, so that he could go around to the schools and instruct in chess.
We have made a start. For the visit in The Gambia in May 2016 we could bring twelve sets of chessboards, pieces, and clocks that had been donated by two chess clubs in Belgium and some private persons. They were handed over to Abdourahman, and the education has started.