The Nigerian Prisons Service has been formally declared winner of the 2018 United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Confucius Award for Literacy and Skills Development. A statement by the Public Relations Officer of the Service, Francis Enobore said, making the presentation at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, the Director General of UNESCO, Ms . Audrey Azoulay noted with satisfaction the uniqueness in which the service is enhancing the capacity of prisoners to access knowledge , skills and development.
EADERSHIP Sunday gathered that the Nigerian Prisons Service presently has about 465 undergraduate inmates, 23 master degree students and 2 studying for their PhD programmes in 10 special study centres across the country.
The statement quoted Azoulay as saying, “With the current global paradigm shift in the concept of growth and economic inclusiveness, it goes without saying that occupation specific and literacy skills will continue to play vital roles particularly in addressing acceptance of ex- convicts back into the society.
Receiving the award, the Controller General of Prisons, Ja’afaru Ahmed thanked the organisers for the recognition and promised to extend the opportunity to reach more prisoners across the country. He however appealed to well meaning Nigerians and corporate bodies to assist ex-offenders who might not have completed their free studies before discharge and would be required to pay for continuation once out of the prison. He noted that most indigent prisoners may be lost in the process and may return to crime. The Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, H. E. Ambassador Maryam Katagum and the Nigeria Ambassador to France, H. E Dr. (Mrs.) Modupe Enitan were on hand to celebrate the award. Others who attended the event according to the statement include Prof. Abdullah Abu, V/C National Open University of Nigeria; Prof. Abba Abubakar Haladu, Executive Secretary. Adult and Non-formal Education and a host of other dignitaries.