The Principal of the Ikoyi Prison School, Mr Ibikunle Idris, says 36 out of 59 inmates who sat for the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) scored 180 and above.
Idris, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos, said the performance of the inmates, in spite of their being in incarceration, was impressive.
He said that one of the inmates scored 236; the highest among candidates in the school during the examination.
“The highest score among the inmates we presented for the 2017 UTME is 236.
“I am impressed with this year’s performance, compared to last year’s performance in the same examination in terms of average.
“The 59 candidates that wrote this year’s examination is an improvement over 36 persons that registered in 2016,’’ the principal said.
He attributed the success story to “the new penchant for learning’’ demonstrated by the inmates.
According to him, the efforts put in by various individual volunteer teachers from within and outside the facility also contributed to the performance of the inmates.
He said the prison authorities also improved their facilities, which enhanced qualitative teaching.
The principal also commended JAMB for assisting the school with 60 computers and accessories for the conduct of the UTME.
Idris told NAN that the prison authorities were following up the academic progress of some inmates that were recently released as part of its aftercare service.
“We are still getting in touch with them.
“We try to follow them up and offer guidelines on what to do at every given point in time.
“Recently, three of them, who had left the facility, called to seek assistance on how to further their education.’’
The principal, however, pleaded with relevant government authorities to assist the facility with a befitting Computer-Based Test (CBT) centre.
“With a well-equipped CBT centre in the facility, the inmates can be effectively trained on how to apply the computer during major external examinations.
“Most external examination now, aside GCE, are CBT based,’’ he said.
Also speaking, the Deputy Controller of Prisons (DCP) at the Ikoyi facility, Mr Julius Ezeugwu, described the performance of the inmates as `heart-warming’.
He appealed to NGOs and other public-spirited individuals to support the facility in the area of educational programmes for the inmates.
“Government cannot do it alone, but if we can get support from voluntary organisations and individuals, we will have more inmates sitting for examinations and we will record better performance.
“In all, we will not relent in our efforts to ensure that their welfare is given topmost priority,’’ Ezeugwu said.
NAN reports that inmates that are successful in the UTME have the opportunity to enrol in the National Open University of Nigeria for further studies while still serving their terms.
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