The National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN, Enugu Prisons Study Centre, has called for special accommodation for inmates studying in the center.
Kevin Iloafonsi, Desk Officer of the center, disclosed this on Thursday in Enugu, during the presentation of certificates to four inmates who graduated from NOUN.
Mr Iloafonsi requested for the construction of a hostel within the facility for such inmates.
He said that the call became necessary following the need to create a conducive environment for the academic development of the inmates.
“We want to seek approval for a special hostel, not cell, for all NOUN students here, to enable them to relate with like minds and to form study groups,” he said.
Mr Iloafonsi said that the study centre had, within the eight years of its establishment, recorded outstanding achievements as well as setbacks.
According to him, students’ population has grown from 12 inmates in the 2011/2012 academic session, to 191 students in the current academic session.
He said that the study centre was faced with infrastructure challenge as their existing lecture hall was dilapidated.
The desk officer said that the structure was hitherto an old cell, converted to lecture hall.
Mr Iloafonsi said that they needed course facilitators as they relied on youth corps members as lecturers.
In a goodwill message, the Executive Director, Carmelite Prisoners’ Interest Organisation, CAPIO, Rev. Fr. Ambrose Ekeroku, called on the state government to reintroduce secondary school education in the facility.
Mr Ekeroku said that it was imperative to provide all levels of education for the inmates, numbering over 2,000.
The clergy said that the facility had a secondary school in the past, adding that no explanation was given for the closure of the school.
Earlier, Ndubuisi Ogbodo, the Controller of Prisons, Enugu State Command, said that NOUN had played pivotal role in the rehabilitation of prison inmates.
Mr Ogbodo said that the centre had produced many graduates, adding that some of them found fit to be reintegrated into the society, were recently released by the Presidential Committee on Prisons Reform and Decongestion.
The Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof Abdalla Adamu, while presenting the certificates to the graduates, said that the institution had an open policy.
Mr Adamu, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Justus Shokefun, appealed to qualified inmates who had yet to enroll into the institution, to do so.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that of the four graduates, three were awarded with first degree certificates, while one got a Master’s degree.