On 8 November 2018, the laureates of the UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy 2018, the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS), were invited to celebrate the award with the Nigerian Government. The meeting took place at the Ministry of Interior in Abuja, Nigeria where a press briefing took place to enhance the visibility of the winning programme.
The programme which started in 1972, has a mission to establish a prison service that support the change in the offenders’ attitudes, values and behaviors, to ensure their successful reintegration in society.
The meeting was organized with the support of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), and brought together several representatives from the Nigerian Government, academia, media and civil society.
The Honorable Minister of Interior, Lt-Gen. Avbdulraham Dambazau, and the representative of the Honorable Minister of Education, Professor Abba Abubakar Haladu, opened the meeting followed a video presenting the winning programme and testaments from former inmates. UNESCO was represented by Mr Ydo Yao, UNESCO Regional Director in Abuja, Nigeria who promised to introduce the literacy and skills development project of the Nigerian Prisons Service as a model in other parts of Africa. The Medal and the Diploma were presented to the audience by Mr Ahmed Ja’faru, Controller General of Prisons.
A book entitled “Elements of Peace and Conflict Reconciliation” authored by Mr. Theophilus O. Adenyi, former inmate and beneficiary was also launched during the event.
This year’s UNESCO International Literacy Prizes focusing on ‘literacy and skills development’ were awarded to laureates from Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Nigeria, Spain and Uruguay on the occasion of International Literacy Day, which is celebrated every year on the 8 September.