Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) is the only public sector university that has been giving free education to prisoners, back from the 1990s.
Because of the stigma revolving around the prison, prisoners, who spend time in jail, have a difficult time fitting back into society. Due to little or no education, prisoners are unable to find respectful jobs after they’re released.
In 2016, AIOU made the decision to modernize existing educational programs and facilities for prisoners all across the country. Ever since then, AIOU has been offering education to prisoners from Matric to Bachelors level.
AIOU upgraded its facilities with the help of Wafaqi Mohtasab, Higher Education Commission, and prison departments of all provinces.
As per an AIOU official, the prisoners’ education program’s goal is to extend the education net to prisoners.
Prisoners who received education during their jail time could become responsible Pakistanis, the official stated.
AIOU’s Vice-Chancellor is in contact with Inspector General Prisons of all four provinces so that the authorities work in collaboration with the teachers. The Vice-Chancellor also pays frequent visits to prisons at Rawalpindi, Quetta, and Karachi, during which the VC meets and distributes books amongst the prisoners.
Prisoners, who are interested in taking part in the program, are given forms without any cost. As long as they remain in jail, they are exempted from admission, degree, tuition, examination and registration fee.
Not only this, but AIOU is also planning to set up classrooms for children, living with their mothers in jail at the central jail, Quetta.
The final version of the feasibility report of the project was sent to the authorities. AIOU officials are waiting for the ‘go-ahead’ signal from the authorities to implement this project.
Other than educating prisoners, AIOU provides free education to visually impaired people, transgender, and drop-outs girls.
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