ISLAMABAD: The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) will be upgrading its free educational facilities in jails throughout the country, enabling prisoners to learn as they serve their prison terms.
To simplify the admission process for inmates, the AIOU has decided to send the prospectus and other allied material to jail authorities, read a statement released by the varsity on Sunday.
Inmates can study from matric all the way to BA while in jail through the AIOU. The last date for admission in the current session has been set as March 6. The educational plan for prisoners were reviewed at a meeting of the varsity in Islamabad
Promising to make all possible efforts to boost enrolment rates among inmates, AIOU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Shahid Siddiqui visited jails in Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and Rawalpindi. He also wrote letters to Inspectors General, Prisons of the four provinces seeking their support to implement to achieve the desired results. “We wish to raise the number of enrolled prisoners through awareness campaign as well as improving our educational facilities, “said the Prof Dr Siddiqui, adding that currently, there were over 1,000 prisoners in various jails studying different AIOU courses.
Under the proposed plan, Jail Superintendent will act as a coordinator and will be paid on a semester-wise basis. Teachers nominated in jails will act as assistants to the coordinator and will also be paid. They will also perform the duties of centre superintendent during the exams.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 6th, 2017.