Prisoners in UP will get chance to pursue education


In a bid to reform prisoners, the prison department has launched an ambitious project, wherein inmates will be able to attend classes from primary to higher education level besides being allowed to appear in certificate examinations.

"The basic education department had approved a proposal to conduct primary and upper primary examinations for prisoners in all 61 jails in the state and an order had also been issued by the government in this regard," Inspector General of Police (Prison) Sulkhan Singh said.

"Till now though classes were conducted inside the jails, there was no facility to appear in examinations like high school and intermediate. The project will give them a chance to appear in different examination and get certificates and degrees," he said.

For prisoners willing to pursue graduate and post graduate courses, a project was being launched in association with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).
"Under the project IGNOU will set up its examination centres in three jails in the first phase," Singh said.

The department had also forwarded a proposal to UP Secondary Education Board to conduct high school and intermediate examinations for prisoners in 10-12 jails in different districts of the state," he said.

"The proposal is being examined by the government and we are hopeful of getting its nod and the prisoners will be able to appear in exams from the next session," Singh said.
The IG said that so far 1500 prisoners have expressed their willingness to appear in primary and upper primary examination conducted by Basic Education Board.

Three jails where IGNOU has agreed to set up its examination centres include model jail in Lucknow, Bareilly and Naini central jail in Allahabad.

"Over 100 prisoners have already enrolled for various courses run by the open university. In case if prisoners of other jails are interested in taking up higher education courses they will be allowed to enroll. They will be taken to nearest centre for examination," he said.

He said that once the facility is introduced in proper manner more and more prisoners will get enrolled in higher education courses.

"As far as primary education is concerned examinations will be conducted in all 61 jails in the state. Examiners of education council will come to the jail itself thus shifting prisoners will not be required," he said.

Singh said sufficient number of teaches were available in jails."We have at least one teacher in every jail. Besides, their are number of prisoners, who are well qualified and they can assist in teaching their fellow inmates. Moreover, such prisoners will get paid for the teaching job".

At present there are nearly 82,000 inmates, including undertrials, lodged in different jails across the state.

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