Church & Society

Vietnamese students reap benefits of church-run summer courses July 24, 2019

Church-run summer courses are helping hundreds of students from Kontum Diocese, in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, learn how to pray, interact, develop problem-solving skills, cook, work together and improve academically.

They also play traditional games and sports to develop their physical health.

Religious congregations and parishes based in the diocese — home to various ethnic minority groups — offer the courses so students can improve their development and better control their lives. The summer courses last from June to August. 

Organizers say the students are not educated in religious values and human dignity in schools, while ethnic students perform badly academically because they struggle with the Vietnamese language. As a result, many fail to integrate in classes and drop out of school. 

Religious organizations are not allowed to run proper schools in the communist country so are offering the six-week summer courses to supplement their regular education. 

Kontum Diocese, which covers Kontum and Gia Lai provinces, serves 350,000 Catholics including 250,000 ethnic minority people. 

Photos by reporter

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