For most educational institutions, an achievement of 92.30 pass percentage in Class X board examinations would be considered as a respectable achievement.
However, for this ‘institution’ in the city, this result caused not just a sense of satisfaction but widespread jubilation, for it came at the Coimbatore Central Prison where of the 13 convicts who took the examinations this year, 12 had cleared.
“We almost achieved cent per cent for the remaining one convict had failed in only one subject, that too by a mere five marks. Seven candidates, or more than half, had got above 300 out of 500 or 60 per cent,” S. Rajendran, Superintendent of Coimbatore Central Prison told The Hindu on Friday, when the board examination results were announced.
This pass percentage is among the highest since the Coimbatore Central Prison began to allow convicts to write the board examinations five year ago, he says, adding that it would be probably be among the highest for all prisons in the State. Another factor that has made the results even sweeter is that the teachers for the convict-students were other convicts itself with MM. B. Aand M.A. degrees.
He says prison authorities were focusing on education among prisoners to enable them to rationalise their actions. Towards this, an educational centre had been established at the Coimbatore Central Prison where classes from VIII to XII are taken.
The lessons are structured almost similar to schools with separate classrooms for different standards. The prisoners will be encouraged to complete higher secondary classes and pursue a degree through correspondence course or the Tamil Nadu Open University or vocational courses, says Mr. Rajendran.
The top mark is 373 by M. Syed Mohammed Buhari. All but one of the 12 convicts who had passed are life convicts. Of the total 855 convicts in the Coimbatore Central Prison, 150 have been enrolled into the educational centre, he adds.