MiniChess has influenced the lives of over 45,700 children in 2013 alone, and trained more than 1,300 teachers since 2008. We are active in more than 170 schools all over South Africa.
THE IMPACT OF THE MINICHESS PROGRAMME ON SCHOOLREADINESS IN AN
INFORMAL SETTLEMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA
Dept. Educational Psychology, University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Enhancing South-African learners from disadvantaged communities’ ability to perform successful in an academic environment currently proves to be challenging. Intervention at an early age seems to be critically important. The purpose of this study was to determine if the implementation of a structured chess programme at early childhood level could address this crisis successfully. A Pilot study with pre-school learners was implemented in the informal settlement region of Tembisa, with positive results. Statistical analysis shows that while no significant statistical differences in performance were indicated with the Control Group there were significant differences between the pre-test and post-test performances of learners in the Experimental Group. All experimental participants had a significant better post-score than pre-score on all 7 dimensions.
Learners in the Experimental Group significantly increased their performance in relation to the control group. This means that the learners in the Control Group that did not take part in the programme, showed no significant increase in ability over this period of time, despite the fact that they did attend pre-school with the Experimental Group. The MiniChess programme proved to be a reputable instrument to increase the performance of early childhood learners by means of an instrument that is based on play. Learners become actively involved in the process. While opportunities do not present themselves sufficiently, learners in disadvantaged areas have the ability to enhance their performance significantly. The MiniChess programme presents a solution.