Lagos - The Principal, Ikoyi Prison School, Ayodele Obarewo, on Monday commended the Federal Government for integrating inmates in the education system in the country.
Obarewo spoke at the Ikoyi Prison centre of the ongoing 2014 Computer Based Test (CBT) of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination organised by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
Over 600,000 candidates applied for the examination under the platform and the Ikoyi Prison centre is one of the 16 venues of the exercise in Lagos.
Obarewo said that 14 inmates sat for the CBT at the prison on Monday.
According to him, this is the first time the inmates will be taking the computer based examination.
He said that the government under the current dispensation had shown its commitment in achieving Education For All (EFA), through its various transformation programmes on education.
"I want to commend the Federal Government for creating this platform where inmates are prepared and enrolled for external examinations such as this.
"Before now, inmates were perceived as never do wells and that nothing good could come out of the Nigerian Prisons.
"We want to assure the public that a lot of positive things are taking place here in an attempt to reform these persons, with a lot of them showing signs of positive changes.
"We encourage them here to come to this our school and co-opt their fellow inmates that are better read, to assist in taking them on various subjects.
"Some of them had written the 2013 Nov/Dec GCE, organised by WAEC and have made wonderful results and thereafter, we encouraged them to sit for this examination,” he said.
The principal said he was hopeful that the candidates would perform well in the UTME.
According to Obarewo, the prison has what it takes to train more inmates and go ahead to produce more graduates.
"Should these students succeed in their examination and wish to continue their education, they will be enrolled in the National Open University of Nigeria where they could get their course materials on-line.
"However, do not forget that the prison terms of some of them writing this examination are about to expire so they could also be lucky enough to be released on time to meet up with the admission process,” he said.
The principal said that some challenges facing the candidates were inadequate computers and accessories.
According to him, they also need a bigger generator that will provide power in the school and the prison as a whole.
He pleaded with members of the public to support their cause by providing volunteer teachers, books and other instructional materials that would assist in educating the inmates adequately.
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