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Prison inmates get classroom learning experience

Special Correspondent

Educated prisoners will take classes for prisoners who are illiterate


Motivation:Director of Human Resources Roots Industries Kavidasan (right) handing over notebooks to a prison inmate, formally launching the classroom education for the inmates of the Coimbatore Central Prison on Wednesday. Superintendent of Coimbatore Central Prison A. Murugesan (second right) and DIG of Prisons, Coimbatore Range P. Govindarajan (third right) are in the picture. —

COIMBATORE: Prisoners at the Coimbatore Central Prison pursuing their education in standards 8th,10th and 12th will get the benefit of classroom teaching for three hours a day. The formal classroom education for the prisoners was inaugurated on Wednesday.

The facility was inaugurated by Human Resources Director of Roots Industries Kavidasan and Sister Selvi from the Prison Ministry India in the presence of DIG of Prisons, Coimbatore Range P. Govindarajan, Superintendent of Prison, Coimbatore Central Prison, A. Murugesan, Additional Superintendent of Prisons Anbazhagan and Jailor K. Shankar.

Notebooks were handed over to the prisoners who had enrolled for classroom education. Mr. Murugesan said that the Tamil Nadu Text Book Society and Chief Educational Officer have been approached for providing the prison inmates with the required textbooks.

The prisoners in Coimbatore have been, for the first time, provided with an opportunity to pursue their Plus Two education. There was a substantial increase in the number of prisoners doing their eighth standard and 10th tenth standard. As many as 22 prisoners were pursuing their eighth standard, eight prisoners were taking their 10th standard and as many as 15 prisoners were pursuing their 12th standard studies. All of them were convict prisoners.

More prisoners were expected to take up studies in the days to come, Mr. Murugesan said.

In the recently announced results, the candidates from the Coimbatore Central Prison recorded 100 per cent results in SSLC. Educated prisoners at the Coimbatore Central prison will take classes for the prisoners studying eighth, 10th and 12th standards on a daily basis for three hours. Retired assistant headmaster Vincent Katar and the Prison Ministry's Sister Selvi will depute qualified teachers twice a week. Some of the prisoners taking up work in the prison factory have opted to make use of the spare time to pursue education.

As the academic year progressed, prison officials planned to increase the number of teaching hours by another two hours in the evening.

Mr. Murugesan said that the aim of classroom coaching and developing interest among prisoners in education was done based on the finding that many of the prisoners were mostly illiterates. Lack of education was found to be the reason these persons becoming victims of circumstances and consequently landing in jails. Hence, it was decided to make use of their stay in the prison to impart education so that the prisoners could go through a process of reformation.

Mr. Murugesan said that of late, prisoners were evincing keen interest in pursuing education or in acquiring skills. As many as 100 prisoners were doing their under-graduate courses through open universities. In addition to the skills acquired by working in the industrial units in the prison, as many as 40 prison inmates were undergoing a course in household wiring and electrical fitting offered by the Women's Polytechnic. About 20 prisoners were taking spoken Hindi classes and 25 were undergoing a course in spoken English. As many as 25 prisoners were undergoing a course in desk top publishing.

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