An inmate at the Awka Correctional Centre, Anambra, Jude Onwuzulike, has bagged two certificates from the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Awka Study Centre, while serving out his prison term.
Onwuzulike was issued certificates for postgraduate diploma and masters of sciences in information technology.
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Presenting the certificates at the Awka Correctional Centre, Registrar, NOUN, Felix Edoka said the programme was targeted at impacting lives, including providing education to the inmates and other unreached.
Edoka, represented by Deputy Registrar, Academics, Oladipo Ajayi commended the graduate for achieving the feat despite his peculiar environment, urging other inmates to take advantage of the programme to become educated.
Also speaking, Director, NOUN Awka Centre, Scholastica Ezeribe, revealed that the programme was a clear demonstration of the importance the institution attached to the inmates, who she described as precious to God and society.
While confirming the certificates credibility, Ezeribe explained that the graduate defended the certificate online under strict supervision, insisting that distance and space were no barrier to interested students of the institution.
“We could have given him the certificates with his colleagues during the convocation in Abuja, but because of his peculiar situation, we had to bring the two-in-one certificate,” she added
Earlier, Comptroller Awka Correctional Centre, Mr Patrick Chukwuemeka disclosed that the scheme was initiated for the educational development and Skill empowerment of the inmates.
Chukwuemeka, represented by the Superintendent in charge of the Correctional Centre, Harry Okonkwo, thanked the programme facilitators for their assistance to the graduate, appealing to other inmates to borrow a leave from Onwuzulike to upgrade themselves.
“The Correctional Centre is not only for confinement, but opportunities for the inmates to upgrade themselves academically as well as learn skills that will make them better persons after their jail term,” he added.
Responding, the graduate, Onwuzulike was full of gratitude for the opportunity given him to better his lot academically, just as he appreciated all that contributed to realizing his ambition, including his wife and children.