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Education, America and the Copts

Many Copts who immigrated to the U.S.A. wanted to keep their culture, Coptic language and religious education for generations to come. They found that large immigrant groups such as Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and Moslems as well as Armenians and Greeks have established their own educational and religious schools in the U.S.A. These schools teach the state-required general education for admissions to higher educational institutions as well as subjects related to their own religious beliefs.

To this end, some churches are starting to plan the establishment of a preschool, either on their own or by leasing their premises to an outside organization for such a preschool. This way, Copts participate in and learn about running such programs before embarking on this project alone. At this time, St. Athanasius Church in Northridge and St. Abanoub Church in Corona have their own schools. St. Verena and the Three Holy Youth Church in Orange, and St. Mark Church in Honolulu, lease space to schools on their grounds. There are different licenses for a preschool (usually from the city) and for a primary or secondary school, (usually the state), which have different requirements such as space per student, classroom facilities, health codes, and other components.

It is the goal to establish preschool programs in each parish church, to be followed by a primary and hopefully later, a secondary school in each of the four regions of the Diocese. This is a monumental task which includes teachers’ preparation and recruitment, curricula, proper management, finance, transportation and the ability to face new or unexpected challenges. Success begets success. Small failure would set back the program for many years. It is a hard road but is achievable if implemented correctly at a reasonable pace.

Posted by Fr. Moses Samaan

July 17, 2012