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Education reforms in jails of Pakistan

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Hasnain Raza

IN Pakistan there are more than 100 Prisons. Located in different regions including 32 prisons in Punjab, 26 in Sindh. These prisons have different age groups, and have children, females and males inmates.

In the society the people see those who are inside the prison are criminals and thought that give them punishment is the best revenge they can get from sending them to jail. The question here arises, will evil ends evil? If yes, then punishment works. If you really want to change the society and bring peace and harmony, instead of just punishing criminals, provide them with better education and job opportunities, teach them good skills, help them become a better person. It will ultimately help cut down prison’s population across the country.

Recently I got a chance to visit the Central Jail of D.G.Khan which was established in 1913. The authorized accommodation of the jail is 582 prisoners whereas 888 prisoners were confined there. I realized the value of education for those who are behind the bars when I talked to some of the prisoners.

Later, I asked the Jail Superintendent Jam Asif Iqbal about the number of children, he said 44 children were in the jail out of whom 30 are about 18 years old and reaming 14 are underage children’s. Children’s should not be inside the jail with other mature criminals, it affects the minds of children’s. They need to be kept in separate prisons with educational facilities, a real need of the jails and the society.

The jail authorities said that they give education to those who voluntarily want to study; including children, female and male prisoners. They teach them basic Islamic education like 6 kalmas, Namaz, and other Islamic rituals.

Besides this they can provide facilties to study formal education programmes, like Law, Masters, computer courses etc. All these programs are taught through Punjab Text Book Board and AIOU. Exams are condcuted in the jails and recently technical training centre are also developed, the jailer said. These all are free of cost and those who complete a course successfully, their punishment is decreased from 15 days to 8 months depending on the crime.
For details visit: www.educationist.com.pk/opinion

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