The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has given a $20, 000 grant to support the Prisoners Free Education Scheme of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
NOUN Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, made the disclosure during the first vice chancellor’s retreat for principal officers, deans and directors of NOUN in Enugu.
Adamu said the scheme, which was initiated 33 months when he assumed office, had proven to be a success.
He said the free education programme was for inmates desirous of tertiary education up to the doctorate level.
“It is this free education scheme that made UNESCO to partner Nigerian Prisons Service and gave a grant of 20,000 dollars to support the scheme.
“Inmates with five credits including, English and Mathematics are entitled to enroll for our degree programmes free,” he said.
Adamu said all the necessary materials and resources were provided by NOUN, adding that some inmates had distinguished themselves in the programme.
“In fact, there is a prisoner in Kirikiri Maximum Prisons currently running his Ph.D degree at no cost at all and NOUN has been providing all necessary materials and resources,” he said.
The vice chancellor said most of the prisoners that enrolled under the NOUN initiative, were studying Conflict Resolution.
“The reason the students give is that they would want to know what their offences were and how to prevent a re-occurrence.
“They will also want to educate others against such, if eventually they make it out of prison,” he said.
Adamu said the institution, through its Open Distance Learning programme, served as the last hope of the common man, including those in detention.
“Our Open Distance Learning programmes provide an excellent study opportunity for those that were hitherto disenfranchised by the society,” Adamu said.