The Nigerian Prisons Service, Abia State Command witnessed the maiden matriculation ceremony of 13 of her inmates into the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) for the 2016 /2017 Academic year.
The event which took place in Umuahia Prison on Friday 16th June, 2017 saw10males and 3 females matriculate into various disciplines of their interests according to the required minimum qualifications.
The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) after inspection of facilities in the prison earlier in the year approved the Study Centre as part of its partnership with the Nigerian Prisons Service in providing opportunities for the inmates to link up their already trunketed education programme as a result of their incarceration. It could be recalled that education educational programme is one of such programmes employed by the Service to reform the inmates.
In his opening address, the Controller General of Prisons Ja’afaru Ahmed ably represented by the Assistant Controller-General of Prisons(ACG)/Zonal Coordinator Zone ‘E’ Owerri, ALLOY UCHENWA congratulated the matriculating students, he however advised them to avail themselves the opportunity to get themselves academically updated for eventual and meaningful engagement upon discharge from the Prison.
In his matriculation address, the Vice Chancellor National Open University of Nigeria, Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu through the Ag. Director Umudike Study Centre, Dr. Mrs. Chinwe Ihuoma told the matriculants that the cardinal objective for the establishment of the University is basically to provide access to higher education for mass of qualified candidates who are desirous of equipping themselves with quality education in order to uplift their standard of living.
He stated that their interest in the programme is a testimony of their ambition and determination to become relevant to themselves, their families and the larger society. She urged them to attend their classes, respect their lecturers and colleagues, avoid exam cheating and other nefarious attitudes.
In their remarks, the Controller of Prisons, Ayoka Sylvester O. thanked the Management of the National Open University of Nigeria and indeed other benefactors who contributted in one way or the other to the success of the occaission and charged other agencies of government, non-governmental organizations, religous bodies and good spirited individuals to partner the Nigerian Prisons Service in any way they can to better the lots of the inmates.
The Officer-Incharge Umuahia Prison, ACP Obizue Valins described the programme as a welcome development and assured the students of a safe, secured and conducive environment for learning.
In his vote of thanks, one of the matriculants, Ikechukwu Uka on behalf of the matriculants expressed delight for the rare opportunity given to them to actualize their dreams inspite of their present situation and pledged their loyalty to the rules and regulations of the institution.