Wednesday, March 5, 2008

This is awesome!!!

Prison gets exam centre status

V.S. Palaniappan

Coimbatore: The Coimbatore Central Prison becomes the first prison in the State to get the status of a Government examination centre for enabling prisoners to take 10th and 12th standard examinations.

Talking to The Hindu, the DIG of Prisons, Coimbatore range holding additional charge of Coimbatore Central Prison, P. Munivelu, said that prisons should become centres for transformation of the victims of circumstances. The process initiated four years ago was pursued meticulously by Sister Selvi of Prisoner’s Ministry under instructions from the Additional Director-General of Police, Prisons, A. Subramanian.

While serving a sentence at the prison, the prisoner should undergo reformation and corrective procedures to change their attitude and mindset. Basic education would enable transformation and eliminate the feeling of revenge.

Thus, prisons instead of being punishment centres could play a reformative and corrective role effectively, Mr. Munivelu said. In addition, formal education would help in making them equipped for employment so as to ensure their rehabilitation on discharge. Towards this objective, already the prison was offering opportunities under the distance education programme of a university for undergraduate courses.

Focusing on those who had the required age and serving life sentence, the prison administration through Collector Neeraj Mittal approached the Directorate of Government Examinations. Out of 2,400-odd prisoners, 96 will appear for Std. VIII, 76 for Std. X and 30 for Plus Two examinations in October this year. Once the process starts, more prisoners were likely to evince interest, he said.

Besides the Collector, two teachers deputed from Valar Kalvi scheme were also making efforts to rope in the services of voluntary organisations in bringing in teachers to provide coaching to the willing prisoners five days a week so as to enable them to take examinations with confidence.

In addition, 15 teachers from NGOs along with seven graduate prisoners would help in teaching the inmates, Mr. Munivelu added.