ICT for rehabilitation and reintegration in Nigerian prison education

Ezeja Ogili
Institute of Management and Technology
Enugu, Nigeria.

Open and distance education practices have emerged as a major pillar in the educational system of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a vast country with a population of over 140 million, of whom a very large number drop out of the school system.

Despite Nigeria's response to the various international declarations on Education for All, Nigerian prison education has shown little improvement in the 25 years since its inception. However, information and communication technology (ICT) is now being used to help prisoners to discover universal human values, think critically and independently, and direct their productive forces to improving their living conditions on release. While this laudable objective of enhancing teaching and learning in Nigerian prisons has gained some credibility, given the high rate of recidivism, one has to wonder whether the large amount of money claimed to be spent on the prison department annually to help rehabilitate prisoners has yielded dividends. Too often prisons are still seen as punitive institutions and a comprehensive redevelopment of prison education is needed to change the existing atmosphere of hatred and violence in prisons and, above all, to modify society's image of justice and the penal system.