I can only sum up last night's SCF meeting with training vendors under the caption above.
The chess training community presently provides chess-trainers to schools and local individuals wanting chess lessons, comprising no more than 3-5 chess schools and several freelance trainers.
The SCF President opened the floor to stress that it is not in the SCF's interest to vie for the chess-training jobs in schools. This is mainly a commercial matter best left to supply and demand amongst the training community.
Key trust of the meeting was the news of chess in schools receiving a boost owing to the visit of Garry Kasparov. Garry managed to convince some members of the cabinet to give chess a chance to develop young minds in the schools program.
Hence the relevant ministries are surveying the potential of expanding chess training in the schools, currently from the 30 to 40 (as indicated from the GEBIZ tenders) to larger numbers. In that regard, SCF wished to work with the training community to pre-empt the possible increase in demand for chess trainers through facilitating the process of application through the MOM and assistance provided in helping chess schools alleviate any shortage of training staff.
Several issues were discussed yesterday by a good representative turnout, notably the issue of state representation from players groomed by the community who may not wish to join the National Junior Squad on reasons of schedule or expediency. An appeal was made to the SCF to reconsider the stand of selecting junior players representing Singapore solely from the confines of the NJS. The President assured all present that potential interested players should write in to apply for their place for consideration, that the door is not permanently shut. Moreover, there will be initiatives announced soon that will allow every junior hopeful to enrol in a program to spawn Singapore's next generation of chess world-beaters.
Other concerns were the issue of schools currently having a peak demand for chess trainers on specific days like Fridays. The SCF acknowledges that this would take time to resolve but the main priority at hand was to secure a foothold in the school Sports CCA. Major changes to the current Inter-Schools format would be announced in due course to align the achievements of the teams to the Schools' Colours awards model. Other notable initiatives are the possible setup of more schools' events which may involve the international schools here. In line with the de-emphasise on competitive achievements in the current CCA program, more initiatives to empower the juniors in organising chess rather than playing will be introduced such as the formation of the SCF Junior Council. The SCF hopes the new Council will groom interested young chess players to take up leadership roles in chess organisation. Succession planning is therefore in the works.
SCF may be introducing locally-governed accreditation to better regulate standards amongst chess-teaching professionals in due course, details would be released when due.
So, in all, it was an amicable dialogue with both parties exchanging honest ideas on how to further improve the services of the training community to the schools with the support of the SCF. The night ended with the SCF's call for solidarity amongst the various parties in the training community to gear up for a brighter school scene in the coming years.