Ninety-five per cent of prisoners in Uttar Pradesh jails who sat for the Class 10 board examination cleared the test while the success rate in Class 12 was over 70 per cent. The Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad, Prayagraj, declared the Class 10 and Class 12 board examinations results on April 25.
According to the Prisons department, 57 of the 60 inmates who sat for the Class 10 examination cleared it while the percentage for those securing first-division marks was 82.40.
Of the 64 inmates who appeared for the Class 12 board examination, 45 — 70.30 per cent — cleared it. Six prisoners (13.30 per cent) scored first-division marks.
In the Class 10 board examination, all six inmates of the Firozabad District Jail secured first division. Similarly, all five inmates of the district jail in Lucknow got first-division marks.
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All four inmates of Shahjahanpur District Jail who appeared in the Class 10 board examination also bagged first division.
Two inmates each from the Agra District Jail, Saharanpur District Jail, Kanpur Nagar District Jail, Agra Central Jail and the Moradabad District Jail also secured first division.
One inmate each from the Etah District Jail, Mainpuri District Jail, Varanasi District Jail and Bijnor District Jail cleared the Class 10 exam with first-division scores.
In the Class 12 board examination, Bareilly Central Jail fared the best with three of its five inmates who appeared for the test securing first-division marks. One inmate each from the Ghaziabad District Jail, Lucknow District Jail and the Rae Bareli District Jail earned first division.
Speaking on the arrangements for the prisoners to study in the jails, a senior prison official told PTI, ”The inmates who appear for the board examination fill out a form. Examination centres are also set up in some of our jails so that they (inmates) do not have to go out. This time around, examination centres were set up in 10 jails.” He added that the inmates who study in the prisons are given light physical work, according to the jail manual, so that they can find time for their studies. ”During the board examinations, they are exempted from work,” he said.
Books and study materials are made available to them in jail. There are also jail libraries from where they can take study materials.
For those inmates who have passed the Class 12 examination and want to pursue higher education, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) centres have been set up in the jails.
”And if a person who is pursuing graduation or any other higher course has been sent to jail, then we make arrangements for their studies and examination during their stint in prison. The inmate has to take permission from the court to appear in the examination. If the court grants permission, the Prisons department deploys guards and facilitates for the prisoner to appear in the examination,” the official said.
Director-General of Police (Prisons) SN Sabat told PTI, ”Studies are regular and the environment for it is good, at least for the people who are interested.” He added that most of the jails have teachers. In prisons that do not have teachers, jail staff members teach the inmates.
”Our endeavour is to further boost the environment towards education that has been created (in the jails). Moral education is also being imparted so that the inmates become good citizens,” he added.
Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Prisons Dharamveer Prajapati told PTI, ”We have paid attention to the prisoners, worked with a humanitarian vision so that the prisoners who want to study can study. We have also linked the inmates of various jails with skill development and MSMEs. There are a number of youths who want to study but, for some reason or the other, are in jail. But they have the desire to study and they have been given a chance.” According to the Prisons department officials, Omkar Singh, a resident of Sitapur who is serving a life sentence in a murder case in Bareilly Central Jail, secured 503 marks out of 600 in the Class 10 board examination and was the topper among all the inmates who sat for the test.
Apart from teaching illiterate inmates, he also teaches the prisoners appearing for the IGNOU examination.
Chhotelal, another Bareilly Central Jail inmate, secured 367 marks out of 500 in the Class 12 examination. He is serving a 10-year sentence in a case registered under sections 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and 304B (dowry death) of the Indian Penal Code.
Naeema, another convict, scored 436 out of 600 marks in the Class 10 examination.
”Naeema was lodged in Rampur District Jail. Seeing her devotion and interest towards studies, the Prisons Headquarters made special arrangements to keep her at the Bareilly Central Jail from where she appeared for the Class 10 board examination,” the Prisons department officials said.