In Autumn 2017 semester more than 1000 prisoners were enrolled with Allama Iqbal Open University. The aim of enrolling the students was to provide them a platform to complete or upgrade their education and have a reputable place in society after completing their prison life.
This was confirmed by Prof Dr. Shahid Siddiqui the Vice Chancellor (VC) of Allama Iqbal Open University while he was presiding a meeting that revised the educational facilities provided by the university that reach out to the underprivileged groups.
In jails, AIOU improved the educational facilities and provide free education to prisoners from classes Matric to BA. Thus the university is playing its role in giving an opportunity to the deprived sections of the society.
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The procedure of admission is quite simple. Prospectus and other specific documents are sent to jail authorities. Then the prisoners are allowed to become part of the university and carry on with their education.
The VC informed that those prisoners who want to study further can get admission from upcoming spring session in 2018. It will start from the first week of February. There is a systematic procedure by the university to conduct meetings, workshops, and classes in jail premises.
Dr. Shahid Siddiqui himself visits jails all over Pakistan, held discussion sessions with jail authorities to increase enrollment rate. Moreover, he wrote letters to the heads of polices inspectors general (IGs) of all the provinces, asking them to support this cause and encourage education among prisoners.
He asked the IGs to spread this information to all jails and provide awareness and motivation to prisoners to gain a free education.
Dr. Shahid Siddiqui believes that jail should be a center where prisoners can think and learn from their mistake. An opportunity should be given to criminals to rehabilitate and become better citizens of the country.