Friday, May 29, 2015

Pestaño: Marie Ernestine makes chess history

 Friday, May 29, 2015
CHESS history will be signed and sealed today. Marie Ernestine School will include chess in their curriculum starting this coming school year. The Memorandum of Agreement of the school, the Cebu School of Chess and the Cebu Chess Masters will be finalized today at 3 p.m. at their school in Canjulao, Lapu-Lapu City.
Signing for the school are Dr. Marie Ernestine D. Fajatin, school founder and Dr. Michael Robert Dennis D. Fajatin, VP for Administration and International Master Kim Steven Yap of Cebu School of Chess, Therese dela Torre and National Master Merben Roque of Cebu Chess Masters. Witnesses will be Eric Maria S. Dizon and Jojo Muralla of Cepca.
To my knowledge this will be the first time to happen in the Philippines.
Invited to witness this unique event is Mayor Mike Rama and former Mayor Alvin Garcia. Also invited is the president of Cebu Chess Federation Benjamin B. Lim. The three are honorary members of the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association (Cepca), which serves as the adviser of this project.
Selected members of Cepca will also be present and all print media has been invited.
Why chess? Because chess is more than a board game. It teaches us to think analytically and be more successful in life, no matter what profession one pursues.
In about 40 countries across the globe, including Brazil, Spain, Armenia, Venezuela ,China, Singapore, Israel, Italy, Russia, Turkey and Greece, chess is incorporated into the country’s curriculum.
In a previous article I also noted that “We face in our modern, splintered world not only a crisis in education, but more pointedly a crisis of understanding--of thought and of willingness to engage in thought. Thinking tools like chess, help our minds expand, grow comfortable with abstraction and learn to navigate complex systems.”
DepEd Secretary Lapus said, “It is a game that improves organizational and analytical skills. Children when exposed to this game at an early age achieve academically better than those not engaged. Likewise, chess is among the activities that help build memory skills, concentration, self-confidence, self-esteem and in making disciplined decisions. Playing chess provides opportunities to practice such values as perseverance, honesty, and sportsmanship.”
Jerry Maratas has approved the donation of 15 chess sets and two chess clocks to the school from Cepca. Bodjie Lim will also donate two brand new digital chess clocks to the school. The school will also provide scholarships to child chess geniuses.
One of the prime movers of Chess in Schools (CIS) is no less than former world champion Garry Kasparov thru the foundation (KCF) bearing his name.
He said, “I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in the most worthy of endeavors – the education of our children. In an age when schools are facing significant budgetary restraints, there is a greater need than ever to make chess available to as many students as possible. We’ve assembled the very best in chess education to develop a complete chess curriculum – K through 12.
We’ve designed a program that encourages creativity, instills self-discipline and offers hope and a feeling of accomplishment to millions of children. But we can’t do it alone. With your help, we can bring chess into the classrooms where it belongs. We can turn our dream of a better education for tomorrow into a reality today. KCF’s mission is to bring the many educational benefits of chess to children throughout the world by providing a complete chess curriculum and enrichment programs.”

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