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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:

“The Church Educational System will seek to provide opportunities for education to the members of the church wherever the church is organized.”

The goal is to help Mormons both temporally and spiritually, Egbert said Monday during a presentation at the 28th annual conference of the LDS International Society at BYU’s Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center.

“Illiterate members struggle to learn the gospel and participate,” she said. “Church members with poor education struggle with self-reliance.”

Elder Kim B. Clark, the church’s commissioner of education, announced the CES Global Education Initiative in June.

The Vanuatu pilot launched in August and serves 45 students.

The pilot programs in Samoa and Papua New Guinea began last month.

To read the full article on the Deseret News, click here.