Seventeen inmates of the Nigerian Prison in Kaduna were on Tuesday, March 6, matriculated to study various courses at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) campuses in the state. The vice chancellor of the university, Professor Abdallah Adamu, disclosed this during a brief matriculation ceremony held for the inmates at the Kaduna Convict Prison, Independence Way, Kaduna.
Abdallah urged the new students to make good use of the opportunity given to them by the institution and become better citizens after their jail terms. Represented by Aminu Ibrahim, director, research centre, NOUN, the VC said the NOUN had the largest student family not only in Nigeria, but in Africa.
According to him, the inmates are enrolled in various fields of study in the Faculties of Management Science, Education, Law, Art and Science and Agriculture.
He disclosed that 14 out of the 17 inmates enrolled for undergraduate courses, while three others were for post-graduate programmes. “Post-graduate programmes usually last for three semesters, equivalent to two years depending on the course.
“While the sciences have a stipulated period of five years, like that of the conventional universities,’’ he said.
He also advised them to desist from all anomalies and anti-social behaviours.
Speaking with newsmen after the matriculation ceremony, Abubakar Garba, comptroller of prisons, Kaduna state command, called on the inmates to be committed and come out in flying colours. “It is an important program for the inmates and the society.
When inmates are given the required education, they can also achieve much in the society,’’ he said. Garba said that the prison should not be seen as a punishment ground but rather, as a training ground for change. According to him, the prison always gives inmates various opportunities and services including providing quality education.
The comptroller disclosed that the Zaria Prison had become another NOUN centre where inmates were enrolled for various programmes. He said 37 inmates were already at the Kaduna Convict Prison undergoing various programmes at the NOUN study centre.
“The prison service encourages the inmates to upgrade themselves in various aspects including skills acquisition programmes while some of them are enrolled in adult education classes,’’ he said. One of the beneficiaries, Ahmad Aliyu said.