In 2017-2020, the Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation implemented a pilot project called “Chess At School” in Kazakhstan. Created by the founder of the foundation Galimzhan Yessenov, the project focused on offering chess lessons to pupils at secondary schools in the country, teacher training, textbook and guideline publishing and creating an online platform for coaching chess called onlinechess.kz. Upon completion of the project, the foundation decided to hand over all its rights for further use of these products to Bilim Media Group.
Executive Director of the Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation, Aiganym Malisheva, commented on the decision of the organisation:
“We completed our pilot project, trained more than 500 teachers and more than 15,000 children, and created teaching materials and an online platform. The time has come to hand it all over for future reference. Bilim Media Group has partnered with more than 7,000 schools in Kazakhstan, all of which will be granted free access to all the products that we created.”
The “Chess At School” project by the Yessenov Foundation was attended by second-, third- and fourth-grade pupils from 18 schools in Almaty, Kyzylorda, Pavlodar and the Pavlodar Region. A study on the psychodiagnostics of children’s cognitive development that was conducted based on the project showed that pupils who studied chess all this time showed a higher level of intelligence, creativity and academic performance compared to their peers who did not learn the game. Experts from the Russian National Institute of Biomedicine and Sports analysed the project results and made the same conclusions.
“2.6 million pupils in Kazakhstan switched to distance learning due to the pandemic this year. For the spring, we have already tested “Chess in School”. We partnered with the Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation to stream video tutorials of the game on national television. We believe that we will be able to ensure the effective use of all the foundation’s products, including the online platform onlinechess.kz, as well as raise the intellectual level of Kazakhstani pupils, thereby contributing to the development of the country’s education system,” Head of Bilim Media Group, Rauan Kenzhekhanuly, stated.
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