Daily Express
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Prison inmates allowed to pursue higher studies

Published on: Friday, July 25, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Serving time in prison is not the end of the world as the inmates are given opportunity to pursue academic qualification even up to higher learning level, said Kota Kinabalu Central Prison Director Suria Idris.

He said the opportunity is given to all regardless whether they have committed serious or minor offences, but normally those with longer jail terms would grab the chance to further improve their level of education.

In fact, he disclosed that four inmates in the prison here are currently taking up a Diploma in Management through an online learning programme at Open University Malaysia (OUM), here.

"The four inmates who took up the programme at OUM can be considered as our first batch to enrol into such higher learning institution here.

"We enrolled them as we found out that they have good results in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), but sadly did not get the chance to continue studying and now they are given the opportunity to do so in the prison here," he said.

Suria said this during a breaking of fast gathering attended by Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun at the Central Prison, here, Wednesday.

Masidi also handed over a personal contribution of RM5,000 and five sewing machines for the inmates to learn sewing as a living skill.

Suria said Sabah Credit Corporation sponsored the diploma studies for the four inmates until they complete their studies by April 2017.

He said several OUM tutors would come twice a month to guide and teach the four inmates at the prison here.

Apart from them, Suria said 11 inmates will be sitting for their SPM this year, six taking pre-SPM and 11 inmates taking up living skills programme like sewing, bakery, and carpentry, among others while five are following 3M programme (reading, writing and counting) here.

He said the prison is doing its level best to accommodate education needs of the inmates while serving their sentences here so as to be able to be employed on leaving the prison.

Meanwhile, Masidi called on the inmates here to be better persons and not to repeat past mistakes after they have served their sentences.

"All inmates need to grab any education opportunity while serving their jail term in the prison here to redeem themselves for committing crime offences in the past.

"I hope the time they are spending in prison would be used wisely by acquiring a life-long learning process and equipping themselves with living skills that could generate income," he said.