Two prisoners, Kabiru Tunwase and Oladipupo Moshood, currently serving different jail terms at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison in Lagos, have indicated interest to pursue their doctorate degrees, having bagged their Master's degrees from NOUN.
At a ceremony held at the maximum prison in Lagos for the presentation of their certificates, following the recent convocation at the headquarters in Abuja, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu, extolled the virtues of the inmates for staying focussed in spite of their psychological and emotional traumas.
Adamu, who described NOUN's interest in educating inmates as a Prison-to-Palace programme, cited former President Olusegun Obasanjo's experience as one which had fulfilled this concept having been jailed but later became the president of the country, and eventually worked so hard to bag his PhD from the university.
The VC explained that the prison-to-palace concept of the university, had already attracted the attention of foreign researchers, who had been curious to learn more from the initiative.
And to this end, NOUN would continue to sponsor the education of inmates so that others could learn from the Nigerian experience, he assured.
Adamu also hinted that a survey had revealed that most of the inmates were interested in the Entrepreneurship Programme of the university, which he described as complementary to the reformation process of the inmates.
He gave kudos to the Comptroller General of Prisons, Ja'afaru Ahmed, for creating an enabling environment in the prison for education to thrive.
The CGP had earlier told the gathering that Nigeria had over 100 prisons and all have been in existence for over hundred years.
Ahmed said a prison is not for punishment but to enable inmates ponder over their offences for the purpose of reformation.
According to him, part of the reformation process was the existence of junior secondary schools in all the prisons in Nigeria, as well as NECO and WAEC centres within the prisons to give inmates the opportunity to study.
Ahmed, who described the presence of NOUN in all the prisons as the icing on the cake, said inmates across the country had, over the years, earned different certificates from different tertiary institutions in the country.
The CGP disclosed that 420 inmates across the country are currently studying at NOUN, urging the university to expand its services across prison formations in the country.
Education in prison is one of the ways to return to normal life people who have committed various crimes. I think their mind and soul will become cleaner.
The desire of prisoners to receive an education is a good signal. I hope they come out into the world with a pure soul. The sponsors who provide prisoner training do a good job.
Strive for education among the prisoners shows that these people are ready to change and get rid of the criminal life they were living.