The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has inaugurated its special examination and skills acquisition center at the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Ikoyi.
The goal of the partnership between NOUN and the custodial center is to reflect the broader society, where education plays a transformative role in shaping mindsets, leading to positive outcomes in various aspects of life.
During the inaugural speech, the Controller of Correction, Lagos State Command, Nigeria Correctional Service, Ben-Rabbi Freedman highlighted the significance of education and skills acquisition during its inauguration.
He indicated its importance in the reformation and rehabilitation of inmates and indicated that for any country to achieve development, it must prioritize human capacity building through education and skills acquisition.
NOUN and the Correctional Service
Freedman underscored the productive partnership between the Nigerian Correctional Service and NOUN since 2010, facilitating access to education and vocational skills for over 2,000 inmates nationwide.
The establishment of the examination and vocational center, caters to the educational needs of inmates up to the PhD level, aiming to equip them with competencies and proficiency essential for their reintegration into society.
What they said
Freeman emphasized the importance of the partnership saying,
- “The Nigerian Correctional Service has been into very productive partnership, since 2010, essentially to give inmates the opportunity to access education as well as acquire vocational skills.
- It has been a worthy partnership between the correctional services and the NOUN because to date, we have enrolled over 2,000 inmates across the federation.
- “Let me say that this centre is the second in the state and the 12th in the country. In Lagos state, it has been like the pacesetter because the first ever study and vocational centre for the correctional service, partnering with the NOUN, is the one at our Kirikiri facility,” he said.
In a similar vein, Julius Ogueri, Deputy Controller of Corrections at the Ikoyi medium custodial center, commended the leadership’s efforts in providing inmates with educational and vocational opportunities, challenging the misconception of correctional facilities as mere warehouses for criminals.
- “A substantial number of our inmates have been sufficiently trained and certified in various skills, aside the education acquired, and are ready to be integrated into the society.
- “Currently, we have about 98 inmates attending the NOUN in our facility and some will be graduating this year.
- “Our vocational centre has trained most of the inmates in the area of tailoring, carpentry, shoe making and a host of others and these things are some of the best in the country.
- “It may interest you to know that my uniform and even my outing clothes are being made and designed here, just like those of other officers and some members of the public.
Ogueri expressed gratitude to stakeholders, including religious organizations and NGOs, for their support in enhancing educational and vocational programs within the facility.
Modupe Adesina, National Coordinator for Special Services at NOUN, emphasized the importance of the partnership in improving inmate performance and fostering unity. She encouraged inmates to utilize the center effectively to enhance their prospects for a better future.
- “One of the benefits of having this centre here is that it will improve performance of the inmates (students) in the facility, as against what used to obtain when they are moved to another centre to write their examination, among many others”.