Kon Ray Ethnic Minority Education Program
East Meets West operates a comprehensive education program in the central highlands region of Vietnam. Based in Kon Tum Province, the program provides support to this region largely populated by ethnic minorities. Kon
Tum is an impoverished province where the average family annual income is between $110 and $120 per
year (the poverty line in Vietnam is set at $240 per family), and
educational attainment is very low. It is estimated that less than 10%
of local students finish tenth grade.
The expanded education program builds off an original project of a large boarding school that EMW built for ethnic minority students in the district of Kon Ray in Kon Tum Province. In 2008, EMW completed this large boarding school where one
hundred percent of the 250 students are from ethnic
minority groups, mostly the S RA, Ba Na and Xe Dong. There are other
groups living in Kon Tum province, but these three groups make up the
majority of the communities near Kon Ray district.
The Kon Ray Boarding School is located in Dak To Lung Commune, Kon Ray District.
The project is funded by the US Agency for International Development, and the school is made possible by the generosity of the American people.
primary goal of the school is to greatly improve education outcomes for
the students in the area, and thereby improve their long-term life
prospects. The Kon Ray Boarding School will significantly increase the
capacity of the local families to obtain a high-quality education for
school facilities are desperately needed in Kon Tum. However, building
small schools to serve scattered, low-density villages is often not
effective. Distances from students’ homes to school are too long for
many students to walk twice a day, it is difficult to find teachers to
work in remote areas, and most students in the area do not speak
Vietnamese as their first language. Therefore, boarding schools are
preferred by local educational authorities as a solution that creates a
much better learning environment with improved educational outcomes.
for ways to overcome the difficult circumstances that lead many
students to drop out of school at a young age, the local government of
Kon Tum in coordination with the University of Da Nang, which has been
given the task of improving educational outcomes in Kon Tum, have asked
EMW to assist by constructing a boarding school in Kon Tum. EMW will
build the boarding school in close partnership with local authorities
and the local community.
The Kon Ray boarding school also offers training and education for the physically disabled. The
school will be handicapped-accessible, and offer special classes in
both regular education and vocational training suitable for children
with physical limitations. In addition, the Kon Ray boarding school
will provide hands-on training in income-generating activities to
enhance the ability of the students in the boarding school to become
economically productive members of society.
Kon Ray boarding school also offers hands-on training in valuable
skills for the students. These include carpentry, sewing, computers,
English and agriculture. With these skills, the students will be
prepared to become productive members of society even if they do not
continue on to high school and college.