AIOUBAllama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), COMSATS and Sweet Homes on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding for upgrading educational facilities in prisons all over the country, including Azad Kashmir and Northern areas.

The MoU signing ceremony was held at Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat. Among others, Wafaqi Mohtasib M. Sulman Faruqui, Chairman Higher Education Commission Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Rector COMSATS S.M. Junaid Zaidi, Chairman Sweet Homes Zamurad Khan and representatives of four provinces were also present on the occasion.

As per the MoU, AIOU and the government and non-governmental institutions will provide free educational facilities to children, women and ordinary prisoners in the light of the directions by the Supreme Court of Pakistan regarding the miserable conditions of prisoners in different jails.

While signing the MoU, Vice Chancellor AIOU Prof. Dr. Shahid Siddiqui said, the University was already  providing free education to the prisoners and their existing enrollment is around 350.

Now, the AIOU he added has prepared a comprehensive plan to upgrade the existing facilities and it was decided that it will support in setting up a library within premises of each jail. A complete set of AIOU’s books will be made available in the library.

Dr. Sididiqui said that he was writing letter to the Inspectors General Jails, offering their academic support in improving the plight of the prisoners through education. The University, he said has shown its willingness to enhance educational facilities for prisoners, particularly women and children.

“We will continue to provide free books to the enrolled prisoners, holding academic workshops and examination within the jail premises,” he added.

The participants lauded the contribution of AIOU in providing free education to the prisoners. Wafaqi Mohtasib Sulman Farooqi appreciated the dynamic role of the incumbent Vice chancellor in transforming the University on modern line.

Following the signing of the MoU, the Wafaqi Mohtasib constituted a committee for bringing reforms in jails and monitors the reformative task, undertaken on the directions of the Supreme Court.

The Wafaqi Mohtasib hoped that the relevant institutions will work for the welfare of the prisoners in a national and humanitarian spirit.

Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed assured his complete support in improving the lot of the prisoners. All the Universities will be involved in the humanitarian task, he added.