MYSORE: Prisoners seem to be trying to make their stay behind bars more meaningful. Close to 100 convicts and undertrials lodged in Bangalore and Mysore Central Prisons have enrolled for undergraduate and post graduate degrees with the Karnataka State Open University (KSOU), for which the admissions concluded on January 7.
KSOU is planning to approach the remaining prisons in the state in view of the overwhelming response. Last year, 21 out of 23, who wrote exams from Mysore prison, have passed.
Around 44 convicts from Mysore Central Prison have registered for degree courses and more than 50 from Bangalore prison have applied for degrees. Prison authorities completed the admission formalities, including the payment of fees, which is borne by the government.
“It is only in the last two years that their numbers have gone up remarkably. Before that it had not crossed the single digit mark,”
said KSOU Registrar B S Vishwanath.
An important factor which enthused the prisoners to continue their education is the flexible eligibility criterion of the KSOU. Any person who has completed 18 years can enrol for degree courses even if he has not completed plus 2. Vishwanath said that a majority of Mysore prisoners had no documents to prove their age which is mandatory for admissions and the same was arranged by the prison authorities later.
The prisoners will get study materials in a few weeks and there will be classes once a week or fortnight. The classes and exams will be held within the jail premises. While the study centre opened at the Mysore prison last year takes care of its prisoner-students, KSOU is planning to do the same in Bangalore as well.
Mysore Central Prison Chief Superintendent Jayasimha said that 40 have enrolled for BA, four for PG degrees- three in MA and one in MSc this year. Rs 1.74 lakh has been paid towards their fee and 42 out of 44 are convicts and two undertrials.