IGNOU’s Educational Intervention for the Imprisoned

Bini Toms, V. Venugopal Reddy


The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), since the past decades, has been making conscious efforts to reach out to the unreached with its diverse, need-based and affordable, Open and Distance learning (ODL) programmes and has been experimenting with various innovative ideas and methods to cater to the diverse needs of its prospective learners. The University, realizing its mandate to reach out to the unreached, ventured into educational intervention behind bars in its attempt to empower this marginalised section of the population. This intervention caters to the learning needs of both literate and semi-literate prisoners and is aimed at reformation of under trials as well as convicted prisoners; all expenditure under this initiative being borne by the University. IGNOU’s approach, of imparting education to the imprisoned, falls in line with its vision and mission and with the objectives of democratizing higher education; which is the need of time.

This paper details the operationalization aspects and status of this initiative of IGNOU. The paper tries to identify the driving forces behind this noble initiative of the University while discussing on the impact of educational intervention of the imprisoned. The paper while discussing on the special/unique skills needed by educators who act as counsellors for jail inmates, stresses on the need for training of such academic counsellors. As rightly said by Skorton and Altschuler, 2013; “Education, offers a humane and effective alternative to the discipline and punish approach, that all too often breeds only hopelessness and recidivism”.


ODL, jail inmates

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.24203/ajeel.v6i6.5558


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