CIS Visit to Nouakchott (Part 2) Print
Friday, 03 May 2013 08:40
CIS in Mauritania

Last week, the article was published on FIDE website. Thank you for your feedback and appreciation. Now I would like to give more information on what we are planning for Mauritanian Chess. I will continue as in the first article giving the daily program and brief information.

29 April

29 April 2013 was the day when we visited ministers in Nouakchott. The first visit was to the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport of Mauritania, Her Excellency Mme Cisse Mint Cheikh Ould Boide. The main subject of the discussion was the benefits of chess as an educational tool, and Mrs. Minister promised to support MCF as she had done before. The meeting was attended by the Cultural Counsellor of Ministry Mr.Mohamedou Hdana as well. If you want to know more about the minister, here is the CV:pdfCV_Minister_sport.pdf

2 sport minister
L-R: Mr.Mohamedou HDANA (Cultural Counsellor), Yazici, Hon'ble Minister, Dr. Ould Bah (President of MCF), Mr. Mbodj Amadou Ousmane (Sport Director)

Mrs. Minister has asked us that if we can build a chess centre by the condition that she provides the field free of charge to federation. That sounds a very nice news for MCF. After the meeting we have discussed that issue and decided that this should be part of Master Plan.

As you may predict, the next visit was to the Education Ministry of Mauritania. We were received with a very warm wellcome by Education Minister as well. 

We did not spend any time for describing the benefits of chess for education. His Excellency Minister of State and National Education, Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr.Ahmed Ould Bahiya (his CV: CV_Ministre_education.pdf) was fully aware of that. We discussed how to create, plan and implement Mauritanian Chess in School Project.

Q: What was the aim?
A: Not to generate champions or grandmasters! The aim is to give children of the country a gift by learning chess that they may use this not only in their education career as a learning tool but also chess may help them to be more intelligent.

Q: Who will teach chess in primary schools – chess players or primary school teachers?
A: Sure, Primary School teachers. Since the aim of CIS is not to generate professional players. Like all of us learnt mathematics, painting or music, and our teachers were not Einstein, Picasso or Vivaldi!

Q: Who will train teachers?
A: FIDE together with the Federation. Since primary school teachers have pedagogical formation to communicate with children (that is something that chess coaches might miss) it is not difficult to prepare teachers for teaching chess in a 5 days- 40 hours seminar. That will be the method we will use in Mauritania like we do in many countries.

Q: Will it be enough for teachers to be able to teach children after 5 days seminar?
A. Yes! Because we have children text book and teacher's book that match perfectly. And those books are copy right free for federations by the condition of getting permission of CIS Commission!

Q: Who will provide chess material for schools?
A: FIDE and the Federation!

Q: Who will provide books?
A: FIDE and the Federation. We do not speak 'bla-bla' and collect sponsorship. The FIDE CIS Program is clear and concrete. Up to now more than 50 federations were helped by FIDE to go with the project. FIDE is very pragmatic for the benefits of the federation from the project and had a great sponsor like Rosneft Oil Company to support CIS projects.

Q: When and how Mauritanian CIS will start?
A: In September 2013 the pilot will start in 40-50 schools. Then very soon we will go to all schools in the country.

Q: Who will pay for extra hours of teachers work?
A: Education Ministry! Let me tell you that His Excellency Minister did not hesitate to say yes for this request. As a person experienced in education he knew the potential advantages which can be earned by children due to CIS. I want to thank the minister for his excellent support.

So this was a summary. CIS Project in Mauritania will be the main engine of Master Plan for Mauritanian Chess. We are preparing it now. The next visit in June will have its focus on that.

education minister 2 
L-R: Mrs.Mouttha mint Elhaj (General Inspector), Dr.Ould Bah (President of MCF), His Excellency Dr.Ahmed Ould Bahiya (Minister), Mr.Mohamed Louleid (Examinations and Evaluations Director).

The day was very fruitful for Mauritanian Chess. 

30 April 2013

The last day of my first visit to Mauritania was intensively filled with formal visits to schools. I will not describe each one of them but will give you a few examples. As the delegation of federation we visited Military College of Nouakchott and just after that Military University of Nouakchott. The level of both places was very high. As you may predict they will have chess in these schools as well.

SC 9 001
L-R: Colonel /Mohamed  Lemine  Hamma  Khattar : Director of Lycée Militaire, Yazici, Dr.Ould Bah

SC 9 003
L-R: Deputy Director Of Ecole Superieure Politechnic, Yazici, Lietna Colonel Brahim Ahmed Meiloud ,President Of Chess Club de l’armée National

SC 9 004
We have visited a classroom as well.

I asked them a maths puzzle. I got more than 10 answers to my e-mail address. As the part of the deal, who sent me the first correct answer, would  win a chess set. Ahmet ITTA won the chess set.

Ahmet ITTA, one of students of Polytechnic University in Nouakchott, won the chess set.

Next meeting was with the sponsors of the federation, a mine company. I was so happy that the sponsor was proud of working with MCF!!

99 sponsor
Mr.Merlin Thomas (Country Manager of MCM: Mauritanian Copper Mines SA), Dr.Ould Bah, Yazici, Administrator and Financial Director of MCM, and Mr.Tajidine

At night we were invited by the sport minister to a special dinner at her house! It was very special and delicious! I was very honoured to have such a warm hospitality in Mauritania during my visit.

z 99 6

Conclusion: Now it is time to work! There is not a free lunch! Time to explode CIS in Mauritania!

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