The Punjab Jails Department is planning to open classrooms in prisons to provide a learning environment to inmates, state minister Harjot Singh Bains said on Thursday.
The jails minister said the move is part of the state government’s mission to “transform lives of inmates and enable them to join social mainstream as reformed convicts”.
“The department is planning to construct classrooms with a capacity of 50 students in each jail,” he added.
Initially, two to three classrooms with a capacity of 50 students in each jail will be constructed and if more rooms are needed in the future, suitable space will be identified for it, he said in a statement in Chandigarh.
The facility of libraries is also being expanded in prisons, he said.
“The idea is to inculcate a habit of learning and education and to provide them an opportunity to utilise their time in prison in a productive manner,” said the minister.
Mr Bains said currently, the jail inmates have been divided into three categories on the basis of their educational qualifications.
Total 271 prisoners of Category A are quite illiterate, who are being taught to read and write under a State Council of Educational Research and Training programme while Category B inmates, eligible and interested to appear for Class 10 or 12 board examination, are enrolled with the National Institute of Open School.
Similarly, Category C comprises 49 inmates, who have done their Class 12 and are motivated to undergo graduation courses in various disciplines offered by Jagat Guru Nanak State Open University, Patiala.
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