Education as diaconal task of the church in Vietnam: a study of selected christian schools as agencies of empowerment
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Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa, famously stated that, “(d)estroying any nation does not require the use of atomic bombs or long- range missiles, but it requires lowering the quality of education and allowing cheating on exams by students” (cited by Prosper, 2017, n.d). This statement is the correct description of education while cheating in exams and “achievement disease” have been an existing reality of education in Viet Nam since 1975. This situation is a challenge for all people in the country and also for the church. It is also an opportunity for the church to take its role and responsibility on education. Therefore, this thesis is undertaken to explore the diaconal work of the Christian church in Viet Nam for empowerment through its educational program. The most important feature of the Christian educational program compared to the educational system of Viet Nam is its foundation on biblical values and its emphasis both on character building and knowledge mastery individually. I present theories relating to education as diaconal task of the church for empowerment. For this thesis, the data was collected from two different Christian schools in two different parts of Viet Nam, one in the North and the other in the South. In order to answer the research question, I chose qualitative research in which I selected ten informants including pastors (founders of Christian schools), Christian teachers, and parents of pupils. In addition data was also collected from one public school. I selected five informants that included three teachers and the parents of two pupils. After analyzing the data, the results revealed that education is a practical diaconal task of the Christian church in Viet Nam for empowerment while it affirms the contribution of the church in the educational sector of Viet Nam.