Eight prisoners,including a death row convict and two women,have successfully completed their post-graduation (MA) from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) after it established two special Study centres for inmates at Nagpur and Amravati Central jails in 2010.
They are among the 414 jail inmates who have enrolled themselves with IGNOU for pursuing academics within the high prison walls in Vidarbha region. Of the 414 inmates,349 are at lodged in Nagpur Central jail and remaining at Amravati Central jail. The prison authorities have given one-month remission in prison term to those who have completed their MA from IGNOU,its Regional Director Dr Shivaraswaroop said here today.
All the eight prisoners,mostly serving life sentence,have cleared MA Sociology in their first attempt,he said. Also,IGNOU is planning to engage prisoners who have done their MA Sociology to teach fellow inmates pursuing BA Sociology,so that they can earn some monetary gain. Dr Shivaswaroop said that IGNOU’s Nagpur Regional Centre caters to 14 districts of Eastern Maharashtra including all the 11 districts of Vidarbha and three districts of Marathwada,namely Nanded,Hingoli and Parbhani.
The main target was ‘Reaching the Unreached’ with emphasis on sections which attracted less attention in education like jail inmates,interior tribals and rural women. IGNOU is offering certifcate,diploma,under graduate and post graduate courses to them. Also,it has a Bachelors Preparatory Programme,BPP (a non-formal entry course for the non 10+2 candidates to enter BA/ BCom of IGNOU) besides BA ,MA in Sociology and MA in English.
It was observed that with their criminal and poor social backgrounds,many are not interested in studying traditional BA/MA Courses. But they are seen to be working in their bakery,welding units in the jail. So,we thought of devising courses of interest to them too,Dr Shivaswaroop said. Accordingly,four vocational certificate courses were also launched through IGNOU Community Colleges at Nagpur Central Jail in Bakery,Carpentry,Dress Making and Welding.