Educated jail inmates in the country can now turn teachers and impart education to fellow prisoners, thanks to an innovative programme proposed by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).
IGNOU, which launched a nation-wide initiative about eight months back to educate prisoners in various jails across the country, has now decided to use services of qualified inmates as teachers.
"These inmates have been leading an aimless existence despite holding a lot of promises. We decided not to let them waste their knowledge but train them to take up the job of teachers," IGNOU Vice-Chancellor VN Rajasekharan Pillai told to PTI.
He also informed that the education programme for the jail inmates would soon become free.
Involving qualified inmates in imparting training to others came in quite handy at Tihar Jail in the capital a couple of years ago when IGNOU opened a study centre there under a programme to educate the inmates.
Buoyed by the success of this programme, IGNOU decided to cover jails across the country and start a nation-wide movement. As many as 2,700 inmates of Tihar Jail are enrolled under IGNOU now.
Inmates in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Karnataka are now attending classes and their enthusiasm has attracted others to acquire knowledge.
Other state governments are also expressing keen desire to launch education programmes in jails in a big way, he said.