IT takes more than just guts to study behind bars. About 800 inmates at Luzira Upper Prison are going to school. Of these, about 500 are in the primary section and 300 in secondary. Despite their courage to study when the hangmanâ€™s noose is around the corner, there is a lot to be desired.
Nine years ago, the education ministry gave the prison a Uganda National Examination Board centre, to allow them compete in national examinations. But the ministry has not made much effort to facilitate those schooling in prison. There is congestion in classrooms, classes are being instructed by fellow inmates and scholastic materials such as books and pens are a luxury.
Yet, numerous international studies show that investing in inmatesâ€™ education benefits society. Once released, inmates who have completed an academic programme in prison are much less likely to re-offend by burglarising your garage, stealing your purse or shoplifting.
A large percentage of inmates lack basic skills. The ministry should provide prisons with teachers and infrastructure.