Thursday, 10 November 2011 12:15
On 7th November 2011, the Lao Chess Federation signed an agreement with the Ministry of Education & Sports to implement Chess in Schools in the entire country. Representing the Lao Chess Federation was its President, Mr Khammany Inthirath who is also Deputy Minister for Energy and Mines. Representing the Ministry of Education was Mr Chandy Phommabouth, the Director General of the Department of Physical & Arts Education (DPAE).
The collaboration means that the DPAE will encourage chess courses and activities in all schools in all the 17 provinces. Besides, Chess will be included in the program of the National Student Games starting with Champassak province in 2014.
Witnessing the signing ceremony was FIDE General Secretary Ignatius Leong as FIDE President was concurrently visiting several countries in Latin America. Attending were another two Deputy Ministers from the Ministry of Education & Sports and the Ministry of Energy & Mines and numerous leaders from the education sector.
During his one-day stay, Mr Leong visited the office of the chess federation which is being situated in a newly built school. He also spent some time playing with some students and was amazed at the interest of the students in the two schools he visited.
In the region, Laos has become the second country (after the Philippines) to officially recognize and to develop the Chess in Schools program for the entire student population. Acknowledging that Laos is a poor country and that so many government leaders support the development of Chess, Mr Leong promised to secure enough chess equipment for the estimated 100,000 student population. He endeavoured to organize seminars to train teachers in chess instruction and conduct of tournaments.
Standing from left to right are Mr Bualan Silipania (Deputy Minister for Education & Sports), Mr Chandy, Mr Leong, Mr Khammany and Mr Sinava (Deputy Minister for Energy).
Mr Chandy Phommabouth, the Director General of the Department of Physical & Arts Education (DPAE)
FIDE General Secretary Ignatius Leong
Site of Lao Chess Federation
Chess in School
Site of first chess club to be established in the city of Vientianne