Mecca, Asharq Al-Awsat- Security authorities in Saudi Arabia have ratified the decision to allow Saudi prisoners to continue studies on a part-time basis through certain universities.
General Secretary of Saudi Prisons, Major General Dr. Ali Bin Hussein Al Harthi, told Asharq Al Awsat that the Ministry of Higher Education had approved the idea that the Secretary General had presented.
Al-Harthi elaborated that the issue was recently discussed between himself and a number of universities in Saudi Arabia that implement part-time study, such as the Imam Mohamed Bin Saud University in Riyadh, King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah in addition to other universities such as King Saud University, Umm al-Qura University and the Arab Open University.
Al Harthi pointed out that distance learning which is practiced in many Saudi universities will help prisoners to communicate and follow up on all matters related to their university education. He asserted that the project will include prisons all over Saudi Arabia.
In the same context, the Secretary-General of Prisons in the Eastern Province, Major General Mohamed Mosfer al Nefeiy, told Asharq Al Awsat that prison authorities are very interested in providing various stages of education for prisoners, adding that all stages of public education are available to prisoners. He stated that the Department of Prisons in the Eastern Province had begun classes for eliminating illiteracy amongst prisoners, with a total of 454 prisoners enrolled in schools.
According to al Nefeiy, a number of professional academies will be opened within prisons and will be affiliated to the institution of technical education and vocational training. Al Nafeiy also referred to the program of Prince Mohamed Bin Fahad that offers IT courses for prisoners.
Al Nafeiy added that the prison administration offers courses for female prisoners in various disciplines such as tailoring, embroidery and IT. The number of prisoners enrolled in courses in Dammam’s prisons alone had reached 582.