Twelve (12) inmates who sat for the 2017 November/December West Africa Examination Council/General Certificate of Education (WAEC/GCE) from the Calabar Prisons in Cross River State have passed with distinctions and credits.
The Comptroller of Prisons, Cross River State Command, Mr Imaikop Ndaekong told newsmen that many inmates who wrote the last year’s GCE exams had good results, adding that some of them had distinctions and credits.
Ndaekong said, “During the last November/December General Certificate Examinations, there was a centre in Calabar Prison, many of them took the exams, 12 passed with three distinction and six credits.”
According to DAILY NEWS, the Comptroller further disclosed that the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has opened two new centres in Prisons in Cross River State. The centres are in Calabar and Ikom prisons, respectively
According to him, “National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has established two centres in Cross River State Prisons command, One centre is in Calabar and the other in Ikom Prisons.
The student’s enrollment has started in Calabar Prisons with a student studying Agriculture Extension. Ikom centre was yet to take off but enrollment is ongoing.
“We do enrolled student who are interested and qualified to be a student. NOUN is IT base, that is the area we need members of the public, Churches, NGOs and even government to come in and assist us with computers, library so that we can compete with other command like Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja.
“Calabar Centre has taken up and Ikom centre is about to take off, for now we are starting with one student and he is studying Agric Extension
“Other welfare activities in the Prisons Command includes Carpentry, Laundry, Tailoring, Weaving, Hair dressing, etc, are there in the Prisons”.
He further disclosed that, “those who obtained the skills can start practicing in the Prisons pending when they would be released or serve their complete prisons’ terms.
“The inmates who are interested and qualified to enroll in the NOUN programme can attend any of the centre and would be transferred to the centre of their choice to study”.
Ndaekong solicited the support of members of the public, churches, nongovernmental organisations and even the government to provide computers, e-libraries and other accessories to facilitate learning at the centres since the Open University is ICT-based.
“This will enable us to compete with other commands such as Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja. The facilities have capacity for as many students as can enroll.
“But they must have the general requirement to enter university and departmental requirement,” he said.
The Comptroller said as part of efforts to reform the inmates, they are also trained to acquire skills in any area of their choice such as carpentry, laundry, tailoring, weaving and hairdressing.
According to him, “After the training, there is what we call aftercare through which the inmates that have acquired the skills would be empowered.
“We have observed that the family of the discharged inmates make things difficult for them. They do not allow them to practice the trade as people stigmatised them..
“Inmates are not accepted by the people having this view that once someone goes to prison, he has gone there to learn more crimes. That is not the case – this people came out more reformed than when they got in there”.