Education Principal Secretary Prof Ntiba Japeth Micheni has emphasized Government’s support for entrenching co-curricular activities in the ongoing education curriculum reforms. The University Education and Research PS said the new curriculum, which is competency-based aims at ensuring learners with special talents and skills are allowed to apply them within the national curriculum at an early stage.
“We in the ministry would want our youth to compete at the same level as those from other countries where co-curricular activities are more developed,” said the PS.
Prof Ntiba who was the Chief Guest during the closing of the Machakos open chess championship junior section competition at Machakos School, said the new curriculum will nurture the potential of every student and develop intellectual, social and emotional growth of children. He said the arts, sports and culture were important disciplines.
The PS noted the rapid increase in chess among the youth following the successful Kenya national youth chess championship held in Kaimosi Girls, Vihiga County in March where over 900 players participated. He noted that as a sport, chess not only has the capacity to instill discipline, emotional and mental growth but also social growth among the youth.
He encouraged learners to engage in the game at an early age as they progress into institutions of higher learning. He said that several schools and universities have incorporated the game in their co-curricular activities and challenged the Kenya School Heads Association and education stakeholders to brainstorm and develop a proposal to the Government on the modalities of entrenching chess into the new curriculum. The PS was pleased to note that Kenya will participate in the world championships to be held in Russia this year under the chess in schools program.
In his remarks, Machakos school Principal Indimuli Kahi said plans are on course to hold discussions with other school heads and provide proposals to have the game included in the calendar of co-curricular activities. He said the event has so far attracted participants from other countries such as Uganda, South Sudan, Somalia and Zimbabawe.
The Machakos Director of sports Stephen Kilonzi represented the Machakos Governor during the event where winners in various categories aged between 5 to 18 years were awarded.