Bhubaneswar: As part of brining reforms in the jails of Odisha, Santosh Kumar Upadhyay, DG Prisons and Correctional Services has asked Superintendents of all the Prisons to emphasize on education of prisoners.
Mr.Upadhyay, DG Prisons in his letter to all the Jail Superintendents has said Special emphasis has been laid in the Model Jail Manual for imparting education for prisoners.
As per Rule 1122, all jails should establish liaison with the Department of Education or National Institute of Open Schooling or Open University and other approved educational institutions for obtaining educational material and other help.
As per Rule 1126, it shall be one of the primary responsibilities of the prison Superintendent and Prison Welfare Officer that the program of education is implemented in its proper spirit and the success or failure of the program, and the extent of the educational activities in each institution, shall be one of the principal factors on which the performance of these officers shall be evaluated.
Accordingly, the State Prisons Directorate has also initiated steps in this regard to educate the prisoners.
“You are all advised to go through the same and take utmost interest towards reforms of prisoners by way of education (social, moral, cultural, spiritual and meditation). As mandated in aforesaid rules, you are advised to enrich the prison library with the help of PWO and give best output in the field of reforms for your jail,” DG Prisons Mr.Upadhyay said in a circular to the jail Superintendents.
The superintendents have been asked to conduct educational programs consist of physical and health education, academic education, vocational education with the help of educated prisoners, regularly employed teachers and NGOs.
They have been advised to coordinate with the Education Department, Open University and NGOs for donation of books, educational material etc.
In the past three academic years (from 2018-19 to 2020-21), 800 prisoners of Choudwar circle jail have taken admission into various degree, diploma and certificate courses in Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). Of which, 520 appeared for the examination and 230 cleared the tests.
Similarly, out of 197 prisoners took admission for 10th and Plus II courses in the National Institute of Open Schooling during the past three years, 122 appeared for the test and 81 cleared it.
Moreover, 10 female inmates of CTC Jail and 1 female inmate of Nayagarh Jail have been admitted In different programs under IGNOU, NIOS. About 160 inmates will appear for the term end examination 2021 under IGNOU on August 3, 2021 to September 9, 2021.
Citing the above case study of Choudwar circle jail, the prisons directorate advised the jailers to take steps facilitating enrolment of jail inmates in different stream esteemed educational institutions like IGNOU, NIOS & OSOU.
The significant object of distance education is to provide effective alternative path to wider opportunities in education and especially in higher education, an efficient and less expensive education, education facilities to all qualified and willing persons, opportunities of academic pursuits to educated citizens willing to improve their standard of knowledge and education facilities to those individuals who look upon education as a lifelong activity.
“Thus this correspondence education or distance learning inside jails is becoming popular & being accepted as an alternative & economic approach to our formal education system,” read the circular.