DepEd promotes 'Damath'


MANILA, Philippines - Learning math can be made more interesting and easier for Filipino school children through a new board game.

“Damath,” coined from the Pinoy checkerboard game “dama” and mathematics, is now being promoted by the Department of Education (DepEd) as a Filipino way of learning math.

The DepEd said yesterday the new board game blends local culture, education and digital technology to make math teaching and learning child-friendly, challenging and interactive.

“In its unique way, the damath board game ushers Filipino school kids into the new millennium by equipping them with competitive life-long learning for understanding and intercommunication technology-fluency skills,” the DepEd said.

When school children play damath, they also learn to explore, firm up, deepen, and transfer to daily tasks the concepts of real numbers and its properties and operations.

“Moreover, it stimulates the children’s capability to think deeper through creative math storytelling, flowchart, concept map, tree diagram, picture riddle, haiku, cryptogram, secret code decoding, simulation, role playing, jingle or rap composing, reflection journal writing, and problem solving,” officials said.

The practical approach to contextualized teaching and learning math is the brainchild of 1981 presidential merit medal awardee teacher Jesus Huenda.

As a public high school teacher in Sorsogon, Huenda always thought of ways to optimize his talents to help others. He was cited for his out-of-the-box “contribution in terms of innovative approaches in teaching and learning mathematics.”

Huenda said this is how damath works:

When learners play damath, they aim to get more points than the opponent. Capturing the opponent’s dama chips is strategically planned such that a player would target a chip representing high number, Huenda said.

He added the game becomes a combination of strategic higher order thinking skills and basic mathematical operations.

“Unknowingly, the players are using the mathematical fundamentals when they play damath.”

Aside from damath, Huenda has also developed the “pierdi-gana” board game called “scidama.” This is the opposite of damath in the sense that the players’ main target is to have their dama chips consumed by their opponent to win, he said.

Scidama is focused on bringing about environmental consciousness among the school children.

Literally, pierdi-gana means to let go by disposing water, fuel and energy consumption that contribute to global warming and climate change.

The main objective of the players in scidama is to divest themselves of extravagant consumptions that can lead to environmental degradation.      – Pia Lee-Brago










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