The classrooms of primary and secondary schools could be filled with bishops, pawns, towers and boards thanks to the bill presented and promoted in the National Legislative Assembly by the deputy of the Frente Amplio (FA) political party, José María Villalta, who proposes that chess teaching be included in the entire Costa Rican educational system. This through the Law initiative entitled: “Declaration of public interest and promotion of Chess teaching in the Costa Rican educational system.”
“This initiative is intended to declare the teaching of chess in public and private educational centers, an activity of public interest and promote its inclusion in educational programs, as a pertinent pedagogical tool to improve the cognitive capacities and socio-personal development of boys and girls“, as indicates the text presented by the deputy.
In file 22,115 presented by the legislator on July 30th and published last Friday in the Official Gazette, concrete examples of the benefits of playing chess are cited: “It improves cognitive abilities and the socio-personal development of minors, as well as their capacities of concentration, planning and imagination, development of memory, patience and self-control, reasoning, creativity and intelligence”.
“Chess is not only a game with a millenary tradition or one of the most popular sports worldwide. It has also become a successful pedagogical tool that has demonstrated its usefulness for the development of better capacities in students, once it is implemented during the first stages of the educational cycle”, added Villalta.
Argentina, Spain and Brazil are several of the countries that implement chess as a pedagogical tool. The results have been very positive. In Costa Rica, chess does not play a leading role in education, its teaching is limited to some private educational centers. The Central Chess Federation of Costa Rica (FCACR), collaborated in the preparation of the text presented by deputy Villalta.
Chess as an educational tool
The recognition of chess as a pedagogical tool and the promotion of the teaching and practice of chess in all schools and colleges of the country are the aims that the Law initiative intends. It seeks a gradual inclusion in the study plans of the different levels of the educational system, with special interest in the I and II cycles of Basic General Education.
The Ministry of Public Education (MEP) and the Higher Council of Education will be responsible for designing the necessary plans to include chess in the study plans, the document indicates. After the bill is approved, the MEP will have a six-month period to prepare the study plans that allow the execution of the proposal.