ISLAMABAD – Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has prepared a special plan upgrading its free educational facilities in jails throughout the country, enabling prisoners to become useful citizens of the society.

The educational facilities are being given to the jail intimates from Matric to BA level. Now, the process of taking admission has been further simplified. Prospectus and others allied material were being to jail authorities free of cost so that the aspiring and eligible detained persons could take admission in the current semester. The last date for the admission is March 6.

The educational plan for prisoners was reviewed at a meeting held here under the chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr Shahid Siddiqui, who assured that the University would continue to serve the depressed section of society. All possible efforts will be made to bring a maximum number of prisoners in the educational net so that they could regain a respectable position in the society after completing their imprisonment.

In order to motivate the prisoners’ interest in education, the Vice Chancellor himself visited jails in Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and Rawalpindi. He also wrote letters to Inspectors General, Prisoners of the four provinces seeking their support to implement to achieve the desired results.

The increase in the educational facilities is in conformity with the Supreme Court‘s directions regarding jails’ reforms and the guideline set by Wafaqi Mohasib.

The AIOU is only university in the country that facilitates the neglected section of the society, like prisoners in educational pursuits. Its dedicated services include free textbooks and other academic support, besides tutorial workshop and examination facilities within jail’s premises.

Currently, there are more than 1000 prisoners in various jails who are enrolled with the AIOU in different programs. “We wish to raise this number through awareness campaign as well as improving our educational facilities, “said the Vice-Chancellor.

Under the proposed plan, the Jail Superintendent will act as Coordinator and he will be paid a reasonable remuneration for this purpose on a semester-wise basis.

Teacher to be nominated in jails will act as Assistant to Coordinator and he will also be paid remuneration. He will also perform a duty of Centre Superintendent during the Examination, to be conducted within jail’s premises.

The University has already appointed its senior official Dr Zahid Majeed as a focal person for the purpose. He may be contacted on his cell (03216840501) for further information.-Online