An education behind bars


Literacy program aims to educate illiterate inmates

The illiterate inmates at the Parappana Agrahara central prison shall learn to read and write. Those who were using thumb impressions till now shall train to form signatures and will be able to read books soon.

The department of prisons and correctional services along with the Directorate Of Mass Education have started the new literacy program which aims at educating all the illiterate inmates. The department has appointed literate inmates interested in teaching as tutors.

The facility currently has 4,500 prisoners. Of the 1,100 convicts, about 350 were found to be illiterate. With an aim to educate all of them and help them transform their lives, the department has made arrangements for a special course of six months duration with the basics of class three curriculum.

Hundred convicts have been divided in to 10 batches with each batch having one tutor. Ranganath P, chief superintendent of the prison, said they identified about 10 convicts who have completed their bachelor’s in commerce and even MBA

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to teach the other convicts.

After completion of the first batch of 100 enrolled learners, the course will be extended to other illiterate inmates under the guidance of the same tutors.

“Currently a training session is being conducted for the tutor convicts by the education department after which the course would begin in the coming week. During a survey, we found out that 350 convicts were illiterate and they were giving their thumb impressions for signatures.

Subsequently, DG prisons, Alok Mohan, initiated the literacy programme to help the convicts to learn the basics and be able to form signatures on their own.

This will help other convicts who have taken tutoring to gain more knowledge on teaching and they will be given certificates too. Once they are released from the prison, they can choose a different path and start a new life , even take up teaching as a career,” said Ranganath.

The initiative was flagged off on Saturday on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanthi. After completing the six months course, all the 100 convicts will have to clear an exam to be certified thereafter. The tutors too will get certificates along with remuneration from the government for their services.



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Sagar Biswas

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