"We are a religion based on a book. . . . Do we have a moral responsibility to make sure people can read?" Richard Culatta asks. But the LDS Church has launched incredible new programs to do just that.
The LDS Church has launched pilot programs that are bringing education to children in Vanuatu, Samoa and Papua New Guinea.
The first pilot is called "extra class" by students in Vanuatu who meet in two meetinghouses of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said Stephanie Allen Egbert, associate director of the faith's new Global Education Initiative.
The program provides homework help and study sessions for students in grades 7 through 10. They meet two days a week for two hours with church service missionaries who tutor them. The missionaries also provide a religious lesson and English skill development.
All three pilots were approved by the LDS Church Board of Education in May 2016. They are the result of a brief new policy statement the board approved in November 2015.