Vice Chancellor Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) Prof Dr. Zia Ul Qayyum has said that the varsity is taking initiatives to achieve its objective of promoting and strengthening educational culture in jails by providing educational services to the prisoners of jails throughout the country. 

He said that the central focus of the campaign is to provide basic education and training to the prisoners so that they may become responsible citizens of the state and play their role in the path of national progress and development once they are free after serving their imprisonment period.  In the initial phase of this project, AIOU is establishing libraries in the jails and books have been provided to 12 jails which include 2 jails from each of the four provinces of the country. 

These views were expressed by Prof Dr. Zia Ul Qayyum on Sunday while reviewing the effectiveness of the project 'Jail Education'. It is pertinent to mention here that this project is being implemented in collaboration with jail authorities in accordance with the directives of federal ombudsman.

Admission forms and prospectuses for Autumn 2020 semester have, already, been provided to the jail authorities free of cost while teaching workshops, tutorial meetings and final examination will also be organized within the premises of jails. 

The VC AIOU informed that prisoners have been admitted to the university's various educational programs, ranging from primary to higher education, free of cost besides various professional courses. In future, female prisoners will be provided facilities related to vocational and professional education. 

Prof Dr. Zia Ul Qayyum further informed that in order to make this project more effective, jail superintendents have been appointed as the coordinators for these programs and they are provided reasonable remuneration in each semester. The teachers appointed for the prisoners also assist jail superintendants and during the examinations they also serve as senior superintendants.  

Dr. Zahid Majeed, university's focal person for the project, informed that all the admission forms provided to jails are stamped 'For Prisoners Only' to make the project transparent.