Open schools to reduce prisons

By Benard Muthee. Benard is a teacher at Sharon Hills Academy in Nairobi, Kenya. Please read his essay and leave your thoughts and comments below.

He who opens a school door closes a prison. This statement is true in one way or the other. Many people live in bondage due to ignorance. The meaning varies between a real prison and a prison of ignorance. 

Many people are living like slaves through ignorance, as the saying goes, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. There are those uneducated people who don’t know simple things like reading, arithmetic even solving challenges in everyday life. 

This is what inspired me when I looked at young people who were going to waste. It was unfortunate you could find a pupil in grade six who didn’t have the basic reading skill. This led me to open the door of a school by the name of Sharon Hills Academy. My motto was arise and ever shine because I believed that every child is an achiever if well taught and guided. 

Since 2014 to date, the school has flooded with pupils who had reached upper grades without the basic skills. These pupils so to say were in a bondage of ignorance and somebody was needed to unlock the door of prison which I did. 

As we talk these pupils are very happy since they can now read, write and express themselves in national languages. What a joy! What a freedom! 

Within three years, the school which started with a roll of three pupils rose to 162 by now because the parents, pupils and the community at large unanimously agreed that their children have really found a savior who brought them out of bondage of ignorance. 

On the other hand, school and prison are like indirect proportion. The proportion states that when one quantity increases, the other decreases in the same ratio and when one quantity decreases, the other increases in the same ratio. This means that when we increase schools in a particular area, we are reducing the number of prisons in the same ratio. 

Many people involve themselves in crime because they feel they have no opportunity in the world since they are not educated. Really things are changing such that even to be employed as a house help or a gardener, you are required to produce education evidence like certificates which are usually issued in schools. 

When more people are educated in an area, the crimes decreases since majority will earn good money legally. 

Those who didn’t have opportunity of getting money legally will try to get it illegally which lead most of them in prison. 

Many people are in prisons not because they deserve but were forced by the circumstances which were contributed by ignorance. 

Education on the other hand broadens the mind of a child and can be able to make wise decisions whether employed or not. 

It would be my wish that the governments all over the world would invest abundantly in education and also in industrialization. This means that those who finish school will get formal employment and earn money legally. This way we shall reduce idleness among people and especially the youth which leads to criminal activities. 

In fact according to my survey most of the individuals in our prisons are uneducated and educated frustrated due to unemployment. The education system needs to be adjusted to cater for all rounded person and who will engage him/herself not only in formal employment but also in self-employment. 

We should all join hands to empower children to unfold potentials as whole and unique persons and through them create a peaceful world. We should strive to provide education which will transform lives and community so that we live in peace and harmony and reduce and if possible close prisons in our countries. 

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