The Star Online:
MUAR: The Prisons Department wants prisoners to go for higher education up to the university level so that they can get a second chance in life once they rejoin society.This is a good alternative to skills training courses which have managed to rake in more than RM17mil last year from sales of prisoners' handiwork. These young prisoners deserve the chance to get good education, take PMR, SPM exams and earn university degrees while serving their sentences.
Deputy Director-General of Prisons (Safety and Correctional) Datuk Hassan Sakimon said 1,141 prisoners were currently involved in various educational programmes in prisons throughout the country.
He said the bulk of the number were those taking the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR).
“We have 86 prisoners who are mostly below 21 years old studying for the two examinations.
“We also have 14 prisoners taking university degrees, 66 taking diploma courses and six doing their Masters,” he said after witnessing the presentation of awards of excellence to 190 prison officers in the southern region.
Hassan also said 86 ex-convicts were currently studying in both private and government universities.
He said the department began looking at the educational programmes for prisoners in 2008 and worked out special systems with the Education Ministry and universities.
Hassan said the department encouraged prisoners to seek higher education so that they could get better jobs after they were released.
He said this was a lot easier than trying to return to school or go to university after they had served their sentences as the public would not accept them easily.