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Empowering inmates with education

Shastry V. Mallady and L. Srikrishna


IGNOU to launch

spot admissions for specially designed

one-month computer literacy course


— Photo: G. Moorthy

A view of the Madurai Central Prison.

MADURAI: Come third week of July, inmates of Madurai Central Prison will get to study Windows 2000, Java, and MS Word.

For the first time, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is all set to launch spot admissions for a specially-designed one-month computer literacy course in a prison.

The university’s Regional Centre here, which has been holding talks with prison authorities, will enrol the first batch of 20 students irrespective of age or qualification. This experiment will later be extended to other prisons in the State.

“IGNOU is keen to ensure that a person in prison should not go out with empty hands. He or she should be reformed and empowered,” said K. Panneerselvam, IGNOU’s Regional Director. The study material for the course has been translated into Tamil and instructors will conduct classes in prison.

According to Dr. Panneerselvam, the course comprises 13 hours of theory and 27 hours of practical classes. At the end of it the university will conduct an examination in the prison itself.

Study material in Tamil (5 books), including a self-learning package, multimedia and CD-ROMs will help to educate inmates about operation of personal computer and the Internet. IGNOU will present course completion certificates at the end of the programme.

The State government has provided 10 computers each to major central prisons, said Deputy Inspector General of Police (Headquarters) T. Kumarasamy on Tuesday. “First preference will be given to life convicts — both men and women — in the prisons to take up the courses as they require rehabilitation.”

Recently, 35 inmates in Tiruchi Central Prison underwent computer training and received certificates, he added.

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