It was a development worthy of emulation as two inmates of Kirikiri Prison in Lagos in spite of their incarceration to enroll for doctorate degrees at the National Open University (NOUN).
The two doctoral candidates were among the three inmates who were awarded masters degrees by NOUN Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Adamu.
Tunwashe Kabiru and Oladipupo Moshood enrolled for Doctorate Degrees in Business Administration and Peace and Conflict Resolution, respectively.
Speaking at the ceremony, Comptroller General, Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS), Ja’afaru Ahmed, urged other inmates to make use of the opportunity provided by NOUN to further their education.
Ahmed said that the NPS had empowered many inmates with education from secondary to masters degree level as part of efforts to reform the prisoners.
“We have collaborated with Ministry of Labour to give inmates Trade Test Grades one, two and three and for those who want to further their education; we create an enabling environment for them.
“For those furthering their education, some have done WAEC while some have proceeded to university for degrees.
“No fewer than 420 inmates are currently studying in NOUN and 10 are in 400 level,” Ahmed said.
Presenting the degrees, NOUN Vice Chancellor, Prof. Adamu, urged the inmates to take advantage of the institution’s free education to prisoners from first degree to doctorate levels.
Adamu said that most of the inmates chose entrepreneurial courses to enable them become independent after serving their jail terms.
He appealed to the NPS to provide an enabling environment for NOUN to provide necessary equipment for inmates at its study centres in prisons.
“We focus our attention on making prisoner scholars; all the courses taken by inmates are free, from first degree to PhD level.
“Hope should never be lost even when you are a prisoner, it is when you are educated that you will get your absolute freedom,” Adamu said.