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Experiencing Joy from ‘0 Dong’ Classes

Free Summer Educational Programs: Cultural and Life Skills Classes

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During the summer, various organizations and units have opened free classes teaching culture and life skills.

A class for children at Phap Tuyen Buddhist Temple
Children’s class at Phap Tuyen Buddhist Temple

These classes have provided many children with opportunities to review and update their knowledge, offering them meaningful playtime during the summer break.

Soldiers Teach English to Elementary School Students

Life in Long Hoa commune (Can Gio district), located over 50km from the center of Ho Chi Minh City, presents many challenges. During the summer holidays, the children there have few recreational options. There are no English language centers in the area; those interested in learning English must travel nearly 10km to the district’s town center, Can Thanh. Therefore, in mid-June 2023, the Youth Union of Long Hoa Border Guard Station (Ho Chi Minh City), in collaboration with Dong Hoa Elementary School (Can Gio district), inaugurated an “Intensive English Course” for local elementary school students.

Lieutenant Colonel Pham Duc Trong, Deputy Political Officer of the Long Hoa Border Guard Station and the class coordinator, described the free English class as an enriching “playground” for the children of Long Hoa. The class provides students with the opportunity to learn English using videos of native speakers, enhancing their listening and speaking skills for practical application in school.

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Lieutenant Colonel Pham Duc Trong teaching English to students

The “Intensive English Course” runs every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon at the Long Hoa Border Guard Station hall. It currently has 20 students from Dong Hoa Elementary School enrolled, with plans to operate from mid-June to the end of August 2023.

Lieutenant Colonel Trong and an English teacher from Dong Hoa Elementary School lead the classes. The students are taught the English curriculum for second graders, with additional exposure to native speaker videos. The classes are interactive, focusing on pronunciation and practical communication with relatable everyday topics. Students initially shy have become confident and eager learners.

Enhancing Life Skills

In early June 2023, a special summer class for underprivileged children commenced at Phap Tuyen Buddhist Temple (Trang Dai ward, Bien Hoa city, Dong Nai province). Most of the children registered are from immigrant worker families facing hardships, with many over the school age yet still unable to read or write.

Ven. Thich An Thuan, the chief coordinator at Phap Tuyen Buddhist Temple, mentioned that 72 children (aged 5-14) enrolled this summer. In addition to reviewing and supplementing their knowledge in Mathematics and English, the primary goal is to teach non-school-going children basic literacy, math, writing, and essential social knowledge. On weekends, all attending children participate in life skills and moral education classes.

Among the special attendees is Nguyen Quoc Dat, an 8-year-old with a particularly challenging background. After losing his father in a traffic accident and being abandoned by his mother, Phap Tuyen Buddhist Temple took him in early 2023. Dat expressed his happiness in the “new home,” especially enjoying reading, writing, singing lessons, and looking forward to attending school with his peers.

Established in 2019, the compassionate class at Phap Tuyen Buddhist Temple operates during summer breaks. Many teachers from local schools in Dong Nai province, recognizing the value of this initiative, volunteer to teach. The students are divided into three groups based on their learning levels, with 16 teachers and volunteers participating.

In the classes, teachers apply various methods to help students catch up with their peers. Besides academic lessons, children are also educated in vital life skills like drowning prevention, child sexual abuse prevention, traffic safety, self-rescue techniques in kidnapping or terrorist situations, and fire safety.


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