Gaming competitions to sharpen learners' skills

NAKA Primary School pupils, Nakuru, playing with a makeshift ball. [Boniface Thuku, Standard]

Pupils in the South Rift region are being involved in gaming competitions.

The pupils converged at the Nakuru National Library on Saturday for the competitions that targeted children between Grade One to Standard Seven.

The games included rubik’s cube, chess, abacus and scrabble.

Samuel Kamau, the founder of 3D Learning Programme, said the competition helps the children meet Competence-Based Curriculum objectives.

The games are practical exercises that help the pupils to achieve the core competencies in CBC which include communication, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, self-efficacy and digital literacy.

Mr Kamau said the games help pupils adapt to technology, solve school and life problems and sharpen brain functions. He added that pupils who excel in the competition will take part in local and international tournaments. 

Other games include online competitions with countries such as China and India. One of the participants, St Xavier Grade Six pupil John Muthee, 12, can solve a three-by-three rubik’s cube in 19 seconds. Three months ago, he could solve it in two minutes and 30 seconds.

“I solve it every day when at home,” Muthee said, adding that the game has improved his brain’s memory capacity. “The game has improved my mental health. I am always happy. It has also improved my confidence,” he said.

Mark Bowen, an 11-year-old Grade Six pupil from Kagaki School, said the game has improved his thinking.

Bowen started playing when he was in Grade Four. “It has also helped me improve my performance in Mathematics.”

Shem Koech, 13, from Kagaki School plays scrabble. He said the game has helped him in learning new English words and improved his vocabulary.

“It can be used by pupils of countries that do not understand the language. It helps in creativity and thinking outside the box,” he said.

Phil Arunda started playing chess in 2020 when he was in Standard Five.

“By playing this game, pupils are able to think critically when in a tough situation.” Benson Njoroge, a scrabble trainer said pupils have improved in creativity and in expressing themselves through speaking and writing.

Michael Makanga, also a chess trainer, said the programmes are being introduced in schools to improve children’s creativity and enjoy learning.