West African boardgame teaches college students life expertise | Information


Jamaican dad and mom Tamalia Smith and Andrew Kennedy are pleased with, and amazed at their son’s efficiency in a recreation that has its genesis in West Africa and teaches extra than simply arithmetic.

Kameron Kennedy, 9, of Pelmo Park Public Faculty emerged the winner at Brookhaven Public Faculty’s First Annual Oware Mini Match the place college students from 4 colleges of the Toronto District Faculty Board competed, and worldwide Oware grandmaster Trevor Simon of Antigua and Barbuda flew in to be the particular visitor.

Smith stated Kameron is an introvert and shy, however the recreation introduced out one other aspect of her son – his confidence. “I can simply see him doing large issues due to this recreation,” she stated.

When she requested him how he knew the sport, Kameron responded: “Mother, Ms. Cooper simply educate me this recreation to assist me with my math and I don’t know, my mind is simply telling me the right way to do it.” Now, he’s excited and telling everybody within the constructing the place he lives concerning the recreation.

Sherikka Cooper, who taught him the sport for 2 years, stated the exercise allowed him to realize the main focus that he didn’t have in different areas of the classroom.

“Along with that, he wasn’t probably the most assured individual and I feel that sort of hindered his studying as properly. However with the sport he had a sure degree of confidence as a result of I’d typically have him educate different college students the right way to play too. And that helped him to be a little bit bit extra profitable when it got here to studying different math ideas within the classroom.”

Cooper, a Jamaican, has been instructing the sport for a few years says that usually when college students weren’t in a position to deal with different areas of studying, they have been ready to take action and management their feelings whereas taking part in Oware.

“Oftentimes children get upset once they lose in different video games however for some cause with this one, they graciously stand up, shake fingers and stroll away. I really feel like the sport has a spirit of its personal,” she stated.


Final 12 months, Brookhaven’s Black Scholar Alliance (BSA) launched college students and employees to Oware, an summary technique recreation among the many mancala household of board video games or pit-and- pebble technique video games.

Via common workshops led by neighborhood help employee, Jamaican Kofi Sankofa, college students improved their expertise, and employees at one in every of their very own conferences this 12 months put aside time to coach all Brookhaven employees on Oware and its connections to Arithmetic.

“My final imaginative and prescient is to develop Oware “Math” colleges from major to excessive colleges the place our college students can develop cultural competencies, focus, focus, optimistic angle, management and psychological math expertise. Oware teaches life expertise and methods to turn into profitable residents in Jamaica, Canada, USA and the Caribbean,” stated Sankofa.

Following the neighborhood’s enthusiasm, the choice was made to stage Brookhaven’s first Oware Match, which hosted surrounding colleges with BSAs: Pelmo Park, Maple Leaf, and Amesbury. The event featured 32 college students in complete – eight college students per college – and contributors have been additionally invited to attend coaching on June 10.

In 2005, Adisa Oji, a Jamaican who lived in Canada earlier than transferring to Ghana, launched the “Oware Africa within the Classroom Initiative” to varsities in Ontario. Since then, working alongside a staff of supporter she and others elevated consciousness of the dear classes of the boardgame.

Grandmaster Simon, who led the coaching and event final week, stated: “The sport of Oware teaches them the background of our African heritage to start with as a result of we at all times delve into the historical past once we do it. However most significantly, the information that you just cross on to those kids is the right way to use the sport of Oware to turn into higher individuals in life,” stated Simon who led the coaching and event final week.

He says his template teaches college students the right way to downside remedy and the right way to do psychological calculations quickly. “We educate them the right way to analyse, we educate them the right way to focus, the right way to focus, and the right way to be higher college students by taking up a greater angle. We do a theoretical train earlier than we interact them in taking part in Oware by outlining some phrases. We don’t simply educate them the right way to play Oware. We allow them to know Oware is a recreation of life. It teaches them respect; it teaches you the right way to lose and why shedding shouldn’t be one thing that you just make a burden, as a result of in shedding you be taught extra classes than successful.”

Simon was the Oware world champion from 1999-2002 and gained all of the worldwide tournaments held on the Thoughts Sports activities Olympiad (MSO) London from 1998 to 2000. He was accorded the title “Oware Grandmaster” by the Thoughts Sports activities Council in 1999.

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