Play GO - Train The Brain
EGCC, more commonly known as the European GO Cultural Center, announces a competition for GO promoters every third year. Mirjana Rašić Mitić, one of the Best Educators in Serbia, is a candidate for this prestigious international award with her team.
"When this year's competition appeared, my team and I thought and realized that in the past three years we have done a lot and we have something to say about our previous results on GO promotion. Also, we have a project that continuously lasts and continues in the next school year through another one approved by the CPN project: Play go - train the brain."
What is go?
GO is a Chinese game similar to chess, which was created 4000 years ago. Two players can play the game, and the rules are very simple. Players alternately place figures (which are called stones) on the cross-sections of the lines on the board. They have 19×19 sections available. The goal of the game is to fence as much of the board as possible and gain points. Strategy is a very important aspect of this constructive game through which children develop both logic and creativity.
The beginnings of the GO game in a school from Mirjana's corner.
"When starting the GO section, I did not think about whether I was the first teacher to deal with it. But the idea was certainly to offer some new activity to children, which will help them to overcome their school obligations, empower them, but also act as educators. Later, I became aware of the fact that this was done only in my school, and that fact also pointed to the way of spreading the idea of learning GOs in other schools in Serbia."
Mirjana’s GO children.
"Through our GO school, there have been about 200 children up to the age of 6 to 18, among them talents such as Sara Djordjević, Vuk Dusanić, Nikola Ilić and our youngest hope Kosta Ilić. All the children who took part in the project had the opportunity to try some competition. We encourage them to participate in competitions, as they become better and strengthen their categories. To that end, we organized categorization tournaments, Sretenjski turnir, Niš Open - big international GO tournament in Niš, where participation for our children is free."
What obstacles did Mirjana meet at the beginning?
"The first obstacle we encountered in our work was the purchase of our own equipment. The desire to acquire my set was initiated by further actions and finding opportunities and means for acquiring the necessary materials for work. After the approved project by the CPN (Center for the Promotion of Science), who understood my efforts, as well as the children's welfare for dealing with this thought sport, the funds that we used for the purchase of sets were obtained by providing the conditions for our project to develop unimpededly.
The next obstacle was the provision of funds for inclusion of children in the system of competitions within the Go Union of Serbia, which is necessary for their further progress, which was also enabled by the CPN."
Given that for most successful projects, teamwork is required, Mirjana was fortunate to gather a great team of associates who were ready to transfer their knowledge related to the GO game to children.
Thus, Zeljko Veselinović, Dragan Ilić, Mladen Lilić and Ivan Todorović from the Go Pro Club provided all the conditions for the formation of a section in the elementary school "Sveti Sava" in Niš (collections and expert work). Also, emphasized from the beginning, she had the understanding and full support of management and colleagues in the school, who recognized and supported the idea in the right way.
What is this candidacy for education in our country?
"This is the first time that anyone from our country has enough credibility to appear at such a competition.
In addition to promoting the GO and our project, this is at the same time an opportunity to promote Serbia and its educational system in the world as an advanced, creative and innovative one.
After the entry of Željana Radojičić Lukić, to a group of 50 best teachers of the world, when many were able to get to know the creativity of our teachers, I consider this is another opportunity to promote our country in a similar way."
What can be the expectations of the competition?
Mirjana is not prone to predictions and is satisfied with the nomination itself. Reading other projects, among which there are many who have done a lot on GO promotion, such as a project from Thailand, realized that our candidacy is not premature and that our results are truly worthwhile and competing with others.