I know you have a busy day today, so I will not bother you with a long letter that will take much of your time, but kindly make time for this.
Few days ago, the Ghanaian Social media space and online news portals gave you a standing ovation for the tremendous step taken with Plan Volta Foundation and the University of Cape Coast, in seeing to the admission of 59 inmates of the Nsawam Medium Security Prison; under the Prisons Inmates Tertiary Education Program, to read Diploma programs in Education, Accounting and Management.
This innovative success has brought the noble service into a positive limelight that needs not to be dimmed. This is going to give hope to other inmates who are also bent on furthering their education to the University level, to take their Junior and Senior High education seriously, while in custody.
In the address of Dr. Joseph Ampiah, the Vice Chancellor for the University of Cape Coast, “first time in this country, tertiary education has been taken to the doorstep of prison inmates”, he said.
Sir, this singular act of innovation will go a long way to change perception of the public about the prison being a den for training societal deviants instead of a reformation or correctional facility.
The 59 inmates who are pursuing Accounting, Management and Education, are going to exit the gates of Nsawam Medium Prison well enriched with life changing skills that can make them reintegrate into the society with ease and also rub shoulders with former classmates.
Sir, most of the elated readers and followers on social media were not privy to some of the Trade Trainings being given to inmates to make them worth reintegrating into the society. Your innovative mindset have being imparted into your Commanders and Officer In charges who, at their various stations are doing their best to churn out inmates who are to go make a difference in their society.
The beautiful, rich Asante Kente being produced by inmates at Manhyia Local prison, the durable shoes, fascinators and clothing lines manufactured by inmates at the James Camp Prison, royal Smocks made by inmates at the Wa Central prison, great carpentry produced made by the Kumasi and Sekondi Central prisons, are some of the great changes you have been spearheading that is greatly paying off.
Sir, Agriculture trainings can never be ruled out when inmates training and rehabilitation is the topic under discussion. Your hard work and that of the Commanding Officer of James Camp Prison saw the service getting a mention in the President’s 2019 State of the Nation’s address when it was about the Ministry of Agriculture’s Aquaculture policy.
Last year’s Farmer’s Day Celebration saw most of your establishments winning the ‘Best Agriculture Institutions’ category.
In line with SDGs
Upon a second thought and analyzing all these great innovations; you need to be given a pat on the back for making sure this historic move falls within the UNDP’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Goal 4 highlights on ‘Quality Education’. ‘Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’.
Target number 3; under this Goal, states, ‘Ensure equal access for all men and women to affordable and quality Technical, Vocational and Tertiary education including University.
By achieving this Goal, you have brought smiles and given hope to inmates who aspire to learn from the Junior High through Second cycle to the University level.
Finally, I and other colleagues, wish your high office spread the tentacles of your customized innovations to all regional Commands, some Local and Settlement camp facilities.
2CO Emmanuel Agyemfra Boateng.
The author is a Second Class Officer with the Ghana Prisons Service and can be contacted on [email protected]/0249542342.