The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has admitted new set of undergraduate and post graduate students, including members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (Shiites) currently detained in Kaduna Prison after a crackdown by the government, for degree and post graduate degree programmes in the institution.
Many of the sect’s members have been in detention following frequent face-off between the Islamic Sect and the security agencies wherein they demand the unconditional release of their leaders and his wife.
Recur that the leader of the Movement, Sheik Ibrahim El Zakzaky and his wife are also currently under what the government called a protective custody.
They Shiite members were admitted into NOUN to further their education as a result of being put out of school by their detention.
The Shiites members admitted into the institution said the sect consists of intellectuals who values education and that majority of them are liberal Muslims.
NOUN mode of education allows inmates who are desirous of education to continue their education even if in prison. The University is modelled after the University of South Africa (UNISA) where a former apartheid leader and former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela acquired degree while in prison.
Families of many of the inmates that are currently in Kaduna prison celebrated with joy, the positive steps taken by the National Open University of Nigeria and the Nigerian prison service for providing an avenue for the inmates to continue with their education while in prison.
The 17th matriculation ceremony of the newly admitted students was held on the 30th of June, 2018 at the Kaduna prison premises where the inmates were matriculated.
Addressing the matriculating students, the vice Chancellor’s Office Director, Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu stated that one of the mission of NOUN is to cover all nooks and crannies of Nigeria by making education available to the interested students irrespective of their creed, geographical locations and conditions.
He stated further that the tuition fee for all inmates is free and that NOUN is happy with the performance of the inmates and the good characters they have demonstrated so far during their studies.
The University also commended Some of the prison officers whose exceptional services towards the successful enrollment of the inmates were made possible, a special recognition was given to DSP Abubakar, known for his professional conducts while discharging his duties.
The Vice Chancellor’s representative, while concluding his remarks, assured parents of the inmates that the University would give the inmates all the needed support to excel in their studies.
While expressing their gratitude to the school management and the prison services for making their dream come to reality, the inmates however used the occasion to appeal to the Federal Government to look into the over-congestion of the prison space, stating that the prison with capacity of about 500 people was rather accommodation over 1,500 inmates.
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