Sunyani Central Prisons seeks financial support for four inmates’ university education

The Sunyani Central Prison has appealed to philanthropists, both organisations and individuals to provide financial assistance to support four inmates who have obtained university admission to enable them to commence tertiary education this academic year. Superintendent Francis A. Nsoh, Head of the Education Unit at the prison who made the appeal when he was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani said two out the four had been admitted to the University of Ghana and the other two were enrolled at the University of Cape Coast and Catholic University of Ghana respectively. He explained each of them would do a four-year weekend degree programme that comprised Public Health, Procurement and Supply Chain Management, Human Resource Management and one other programme to fulfill their educational aspirations. Supt. Nsoh, however, said the financial commitment required to see them through to achieve their objectives, 'is substantial, so, assistance is needed not only for the payment o f school fees but also for other expenses like transportation and meals for them and the prison officers who will accompany them to school every weekend and the purchase of learning materials to aid their studies.' He underscored the importance of this initiative and the positive impact it would have on the lives of the inmates, saying supporting their educational journey would contribute to their rehabilitation, and reintegration into society. The four, all males were among the candidates who successfully completed and passed the 2023 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), earning them admission to the universities. But Supt. Nsoh lamented 'they are now faced with the financial burden of paying a total of GhC15,000.00 for their first-year admission fees.' He said the challenges of learning within the prison environment often prevented many inmates from participating in educational programmes, saying the stress associated with prison life made it difficult for them to attend classes to improve their prospects. Supt. Nsoh acknowledged the prison's limited resources but emphasised the importance of supporting educational activities to promote knowledge acquisition to aid in the reformation process. He commended the four inmates for their commitment to learning and assured them of the prison's readiness to provide the necessary support to facilitate the successful completion of their respective programmes. Supt. Nsoh nonetheless explained 'the completion of a university course does not grant an inmate his/her freedom unless the fellow receives a presidential pardon or amnesty. 'Nevertheless, obtaining a certificate as an inmate could have its benefits, particularly for those seeking an appeal, as it demonstrates their commitment to the reformation process,' he added. Supt. Nsoh highlighted the challenges faced by the education unit, particularly the lack of classroom facilities and limited learning materials, saying the current learning space was inadequate, with only one room availabl e, and the library has a limited collection of books. Those limitations, he added, hindered effective teaching, and learning within the prison environment, indicating the main challenge now was raising funds to cover the admission fees and other educational expenses. Supt. Nsoh said the continuous support of the prison's administration, as well as other organisations and individuals, had been crucial in sustaining the Prison's Education Unit initiatives. The Sunyani Central Prison, originally designed to accommodate 450 inmates, houses over 800 inmates. Source: Ghana News Agency