An official ceremony has been held to matriculate 59 inmates of the Nsawam Prison on the University of Cape Coast distance education programme.
This is the first time prison inmates in the county have been offered the rare opportunity of a Tertiary Education. The programme is a collaboration between the University of Cape Coast, Plan Volta foundation and the Ghana Prisons Service.
Prof. Joseph Ghartey Ampiah addressing the matriculants
Prof. Ampiah indicated that with this new initiative, he was hopeful convictsa who enroll on the programme will come out of the prison ârefined and ready to contribute to the development of Ghanaâ.
He said he was excited that an initiative that was birthed two years ago has finally materialised during his term as Vice Chancellor.
According to him program will first be piloted and ones it becomes successful, it will be extended to other Prisons.
He called on all to collaborate with the University and the funding agencies to ensure the program becomes successful.
On his part, the Director General of the Ghana Prisons Service DOP Mr. Patrick Darko Missah called for the need to strengthen the programme so it may not be âtruncatedâ for whatever reason at any point in time, saying âthe occurrence of such a scenario will have serious security implicationâ. He thus called on corporate Ghana to support the Ghana Prison service to be able to replicate same initiatives in all the countryâs prisons.
DOP Patrick Missah, Director of Prisons delivering his speech at the ceremony
Mr. Prince Solomon Stuff, President of Plan Volta foundation who is also the Executive Director for the Prison inmate Tertiary Education Programme (PITEP) speaking to the media said his resolve to initiate the programme âwas hinged on a verse in the Holy Bible, Mathew 25:35-40 which admonishes us to reach out to prisinors and give them hopeâ.
âWeâve also considered the fact that from their release they will come back to the society and they will need to come back well reformed which will require them to contribute meaningfully to national developmentâ he added.
Mr. Prince Solomon Stuff, President, Plan Volta Foundation speaking at the Matriculation
The maiden matriculation ceremony was attended by high ranking personalities of the University including the Provost of the College of Distance Education, Prof. Isaac Galyuon, Mr. Jeff Teye Onyame, and Director of Academic Affairs Dean of Studentâs Affairs, Prof. Eugene Darteh and executives of the Distant Education Students Association of Ghana (DESAG)