Open University: Nigerian prisoners love education more than you think
Unknown to many Nigerians, many inmates of prisons across Nigeria are choosing tertiary education as part of their prison rehabilitation process.
The Nigerian Prisons Service has the fundamental responsibility of reforming criminals, rehabilitating them, and re-integrating them to become responsible members of the society.
Forms of rehabilitation ranges from vocational skills to even academic skills.
A good example of the academic training is the partnership of the National Open University Of Nigeria with the Prisons Service.
All inmates of the prisons who are qualified enough can enroll to become a University student from prison, under the Prisons Special Study Centre of the National Open University.
In a recent event regarding this program, the Prison PRO, FCT Command, Chukwudo Humphrey, said (referring to Kuje Prison in Abuja);
“In the first year, only 10 inmates enrolled for the program."
Apparently, inmates were made to sort out tuition through means not disclosed at the event.
"During the second year, the prisoners were given half rebate on fees and 15 students registered. But when there was total rebate, 33 inmates registered. This has made it 58 inmates of Kuje prisons studying different courses ranging from Law to Mass Communication, Peace and Conflict Resolution to Religious studies among many others.”
Why is this important?
It’s hard enough making a living with no criminal record in Nigeria. Imagine how harder it would get for an ex-convict. But what if the effort they put into getting these qualifications from behind bars could serve as an advantage to them, and perhaps give them a strong edge over their fellow inmates?
We think it would be awesome if the Federal Government throws more weight behind this project, and create a better future for rehabilitated inmates.