Islamabad - Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) provides free education to prisoners, enabling them to become a useful citizen of the society after completing their imprisonment. The university also arranges examinations for such persons within the jail premises. Currently, more than 200 prisoners are enrolled with the university, said a senior official of the AIOU while giving a briefing on the students’ support system. This is in line with the directions of the Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Shahid Siddiqui to bring all segments of the society into the education net. The university lays special focus on promoting knowledge, skill and good behaviour among its students. It provides education to those who cannot afford educational expenses due to their particularly circumstances, he added.

It also gave special consideration to the education of IDPs in North Waziristan. A fund of Rs 7 million was specially allocated for this purpose.  Besides fee remission, the university also provided books to the children of IDPs.

The university has also allocated Rs 20 million for the flood victims, so that the students residing in the affected regions do not face any hurdle for continuation of their study. Free education has also been made available for orphans and disabled persons, under the students’ support scheme.

The official further said that an amount of Rs 7.75 million has been earmarked in their annual budget for providing scholarships to women, especially those who are living in low-rate literacy regions.  It is in line with the government’s policy of empowering the women for their active role in socio-economic development of the country.