Metropolitan injects M320 000 into chess  

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Metropolitan Lesotho Markerting & Communications Consultant Ts'okolo Makeka pose to a photo with some pupils
Metropolitan Lesotho Markerting & Communications Consultant Ts’okolo Makeka pose to a photo with some pupils

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.”

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