With the Punjab government planning to have classes for prisoners the state’s jails will soon see classrooms with a capacity of 50 students each. The initiative is aimed at providing a learning environment inside prisons.
Announcing the plan on Thursday, Jails Minister Harjot Singh Bains said education at these classrooms will be tied to good conduct. It’s meant to benefit those inmates who want to attain or continue education while in jail.
He said initially, two to three classrooms of the capacity of 50 students will be constructed and if needed, suitable space will be identified in future for more such classrooms.
“Facilities for libraries are also being expanded in prisons. The idea is to inculcate a habit of learning in the inmates and to provide them with an opportunity to utilise their time in prison in a productive manner,” said Bains.
Bains reiterated the commitment of the state government to making Punjab a crime-free state. With this initiative efforts to create an educational atmosphere inside prisons will get a boost.
The minister pointed out that at present, jail inmates have been categorised as ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ on the basis of their educational qualification. A total of 271 prisoners belonging to category-A are illiterate, who are being taught to read and write under the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) programme of Punjab government.
Category-B inmates, who are eligible and interested in appearing for Class X or Class XII Board examination, are enrolled with National Institute of Open School. At present, 75 inmates have been enrolled in this category.
Category-C comprises 49 inmates. They have completed their education up to 12th class and are interested in undergoing graduation courses in various disciplines offered by Jagat Guru Nanak State Open University, Patiala.
“The inmates are also given an opportunity to enroll in other reputed universities such as IGNOU, Delhi for graduating in disciplines of their choice,” Bains concluded.