Four prisoners who successfully completed the 2023 WASSCE have been granted admission to university.

The authorities at the Sunyani Central Prison are delighted to announce that four of their inmates have been admitted to pursue degree courses in three universities. This is a testament to the prison's dedication to inmate reformation.

The four students performed exceptionally well in the 2023 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and were provided with assistance to apply to universities, where they were offered admission.

As per the authorities, two of the inmates have been accepted to the University of Ghana, one to the University of Cape Coast, and another to the Catholic University of Ghana, Fiapre.

They have chosen to pursue four-year degree programmes in Public Health, Procurement and Supply Chain Management, and Human Resource Management, respectively.DSP Dennis Peasah, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) at the prison, shared this information with Daily Guide during an interview.

Providing further information on efforts to reform inmates during their years of incarceration, Superintendent Francis Nsoh, the Head of the Inmate Education Unit of the prison, mentioned that all the courses are scheduled as weekend programmes. In order to ensure that the inmates are able to attend lectures at the designated times, they will be assigned officers.

He explained that they won't wear identifiable uniforms to protect their identities and prevent discrimination.

As per his statement, the Central Prison has achieved this feat for the first time, which is attributed to the reformation efforts supported by the Deputy Director of Prisons, Williams Kular, Bono Ahafo and Bono East Regional Prisons Commander.

When questioned about the possibility of expediting the release of individuals whose sentences are not yet complete, Supt. Nsoh explained that prison authorities do not have the authority to do so. 

However, he did mention that it could potentially help them qualify for amnesty or a presidential pardon, although that decision is not within the jurisdiction of prison authorities.

The spokesperson, however, mentioned that they are facing a challenge in terms of being able to pay all their admission fees.

“We are currently working on securing a scholarship package for students admitted to the Catholic University. However, it is important to note that students going to the University of Ghana are required to pay GH¢12,000 as admission fees, while those going to UCC are required to pay GH¢2,940.” he shared.

He kindly requested assistance from individuals and benevolent organisations to help the inmates pay their fees in full.

DSP Peasah mentioned that there is currently no specific allocation from the government to cover the fees of the inmates.

According to him, the prison authorities do their best to manage with their limited budget of GH¢1.80p per day per inmate.

He described this as insufficient and mentioned that it was last reviewed slightly over ten years ago.

Feeding them can be quite a challenge, but we also participate in farming to supplement government allocations. We are fortunate to receive donations from kind-hearted individuals and organisations who generously support us, particularly during special occasions like Christmas and Easter celebrations," he mentioned.

The inmate population is currently slightly over 800, even though the facility was initially designed to house 450.


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