March 23, 2011 Bawku (UE), March 23, GNA - The Bawku Municipality is to revamp prison education to provide skill training to inmates, Mr Sulemana Bukari, Bawku Municipal Non-Formal Coordinator, has said.
He said the Municipality was putting in place the necessary measures to realize the objective.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday, Mr Bukari said the inmates needed to be trained to acquire skills to help them to make a living after their prison terms.
He said the skills to be taught include reading, writing, innumeracy and the introduction of developmental activities such as tree planting exercise.
Mr Bukari indicated that the income generating activities such as shea butter extraction, malt preparation, rice processing, dressmaking, and agro-processing undertaken by inmates had been able to support the programme.
He said the Non-Formal Education Unit had trained some facilitators to run the programme and appealed to developmental partners to support the programme with resources to enable it to carry out its activities effectively.
The Coordinator said aside those initiatives, the outfit for the past few years, had undertaken tree planting in communities such as Bazua, Binduri, Zubugu, Wiidii-Zuugu, and Pusiga-Mandago in the Bawku Municipality and its environs.
Mr Edward Menu, Assistant Director of Prisons (ADP) in charge of the Bawku Prisons noted that the programme dubbed: "functional literacy" was currently training nineteen students but said it was being hindered by lack of logistics.
He said teaching and learning materials such as exercise books, writing boards and chalk, pencils and incentives to motivate the facilitators were not adequate enough to run the programme efficiently.
Mr Menu explained that aside the education aspect of the programme, it was also meant to occupy the inmates in their leisure time so they did not fill their minds with negative intentions such as breaking of jail among others.
He said the Prison unit used to be assisted by the Municipal Assembly to train the inmates in smock making, but due to the protracted chieftaincy conflict in the area the programme had come to a standstill.
The Senior Chief Officer in charge of Prisons Administration in Bawku Mr Henry Oduro Abrorwah, indicated that the literacy programme was a laudable one that could increase the level of thinking of prisoners.
However, he said due to the lack of facilities, the programme might not run for long.
He explained that 65 per cent of the inmates were on remand terms and might not be in prison for long.
He, however, appealed to development partners to help to provide recreational facilities in the Prisons to promote quality social relation among the inmates.