Bamboo School for Children to be Built in Nepali Prison

By Christopher Zoukis

Incarcerated parents in Nepal's Birgunj prison are celebrating as plans have been made to create a school inside the prison facility for their children to attend.  The school will be located inside the Birgunj prison, which is located roughly 300 kilometers south of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.  Photo courtesy www.ekantipur.com

In a move inspired by the Mumbai Film industry, the school house will be built much like temporary movie sets are in Nepal: with bamboo, which is both inexpensive, very strong, and very easy to quickly construct.  Prison officials state that they hope to have the ten-room school building constructed within a month.

Even the incarcerated parents are allowed to contribute to the construction project, which will help to connect them with their young children.  This contribution to the project, say some of the prisoners, gives them a tangible means of making a difference in the lives of their children.  They no longer feel hopeless to positively impact the lives of their children.  And once the school is built, the incarcerated parents will have much more opportunity to help their children not make the same poor decisions that they did which led to their imprisonment.

Once complete, the prison school will provide coursework for up to 250 students, aged 3 to 10, who have parents in the Birgunj prison.  Classes are scheduled to start in mid-April.  Students will be taught for free, a novelty in the region.

The benefits of a school for young children inside the Birgunj prison are plentiful.  Proponents of the project assert that this will help incarcerated parents stay connected with their children and keep an eye on them.  Likewise, since many of these children have reported having low self-esteem and a general lack of hope, being able to study with others in the same situation (i.e., with a parent in prison) will help them not feel ostracized by their peers.  And this reduced social stigmatization could make all the difference in the world as the children grow and learn and, hopefully, succeed.

To learn more about the Birgunj prison's school for children of incarcerated parents, go to www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v7/wn/newsworld.php?id=1012873/.