An official of the Ikoyi Prisons, Olanrewaju Bamidele, on Tuesday described as excellent the performance of inmates who wrote the just concluded 2014 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME.
Mr. Bamidele, a Deputy Controller of Prisons in-charge of Ikoyi Prisons, said in Lagos that 14 inmates wrote the JAMB’s Computer Based Test on May 19.
According to him, 11 of the 14 inmates scored 150 and above, while two others had 148, while the remaining candidate scored 147.
“I am indeed happy with the performance of the inmates. In fact, it shows that if given an equal opportunity, the sky will be their limit.
“This performance is indeed an excellent and encouraging performance, going by the circumstance under which they enrolled, prepared and sat for the examination.
“It may also be of interest to know that the inmates were attempting this examination on the CBT platform for the first time.
“Of this number too, only about three or four of them are convicted, while the rest others are awaiting trial on account of one offence or the other.
“And with what they have done, I believe they have a lot to offer and must be encouraged to help reform them further, and get them integrated into the society to start a new life,” he said.
Mr. Bamidele, however, appealed with the Federal Government to consider granting the inmates amnesty, to enable them to further their education.
He said that before now, the public perception was that nothing good could ever come from the prisons.
According to him, prisons are reformation centres where character and spiritual training programmes are carried out.
He noted that aside from the normal education, skills acquisition had been a major way of empowering the inmates in preparation for a better future.
“I want to appeal with the government to look into the cases of these inmates that achieved this feat under difficult circumstances.
“What they have just done should gladden our hearts and, therefore, we should consider granting them amnesty so that they can further their education, and in return contribute to national development.
“I also want to plead with the public to assist our prisons school with instructional materials, computers and its accessories, books, as well as volunteer teachers.
“I know that by the time all these are in place, the inmates will do more than they have just done in any public or external examination,” he assured. (NAN)
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