ISLAMABAD: In what can be dubbed as a welcome move, over 1000 prisoners were enrolled at Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) in autumn, 2017 for upgrading their qualification to have a respectable life in the society after completing their imprisonment.
This was stated by the AIOU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Shahid Siddiqui while he was presiding over a meeting to review AIOU’s educational facilities being extended to the disadvantaged groups of the society.
Recently, the University improved its existing facilities in jails throughout the country providing free education to prisoners as a part of its endeavour to taking due care of the marginalized sections of the society. The free education is available to prisoners from Matric to BA-level.
The process of taking admissions has been simplified. Prospectus and other documents that are to be filled for the admission are sent to the jail authorities, and no fee is charged from the inmates, which in turn enable the prisoners to join the University for carrying out their future education.
The VC said that other aspiring prisoners could take admission in the coming spring semester, starting from the first week of February 2018.
The University has worked out a detailed procedure for holding tutorial meetings, workshops and examination within jails’ premises.
In an effort to encourage the inmates and increase the enrolment rate among the prison population. In the recent years, Dr Shahid Siddiqui visited the jails of Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and Rawalpindi to hold discussions with prison authorities on the procedural issues.
He also wrote letters to Inspectors General (IG) Prisons of all the four provinces seeking their support in implementing the proposed educational plan.
He requested the IGs to circulate the information to all the jails of their provinces to motivate the prisoners to get free education for their better future, and to live as responsible citizens after their release.
Dr Shahid Siddiqui said that jails should work as correction centres, providing the criminals with an opportunity to rehabilitate and amend themselves, and in this connection, it is the duty of the educational institutions to play their positive role.