NOUN free education for inmates scheme attracts foreign interest – VC
Vice-Chancellor of the National Open Univrrsity of Nigeria (NOUN), Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu, has said that the institution’s free education for prisoners scheme has begun to attract foreign interest.
He said a foreign researcher would soon visit the country in order to find out just how Nigeria is doing it.
The vice-chancellor was speaking Wednesday in the Kirikiri maximum security prison in Lagos during the presentation of certicates to three inmates who graduated with master’s degrees from the university.
The prisoners could not attend the recent 7th graduation ceremony of the institution because of their incarceration.
In his speech, the VC expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the inmates who he said have continued to do the university proud.
He described NOUN’s interest in educating inmates as a “prison-to-palace” programme, citing former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s experience as one which fulfilled this concept.
Adamu said NOUN would continue to sponsor the education of inmates.
According to him, a survey has revealed that most inmates are interested in the Entrepreneurship programme of the university because it would make them to seek independence after leaving prison.
He gave kudos to the Nigeria Prisons Service for creating an enabling environment in the prison for education to thrive.
The Controller-General of Prisons, Alhaji Ja’afar Ahmed, who attended the event that held inside the prison premises, revealed that there are 244 prisons in Nigeria today, most of which are located in the urban areas.
He said the prions, many of which have been in existence for over a hundred years, are undergoing serious renovation under the present administration.
Ahmed said a prison is not for punishment but to enable inmates ponder over their offences for the purpose of reformation.
Commenting on the education of inmates, he said there are junior secondary schools in all the prisons in Nigeria and inmates are performing well in exams.
“There are NECO and WAEC centres in all the prisons. And the presence of NOUN in all the prisons is an indication of the interest of the NPS to get inmates educated,” he said.
He added that inmates across the country have over the years earned different certificates from different tertiary institutions.
“There are 420 inmates studying at NOUN,” he said.
The CGP appealed to NOUN to expand its services across the country.
On the issue of awaiting-trial inmates, he revealed that the presidential committee on the decongestion of prisons is likely to visit the Kirikiri prison next week to assess the situation.
One of the things that will be tabled before the committee is a recommendation for release of those qualified to enjoy such gesture.
Director, Media and Publicity