November 23, the round table "Ensuring the right of convicts for education is the key to their successful social adaptation in society" took place in the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine. Participants discussed the need for the new policies to improve the access of prisoners to education.
The round table was attended by representatives of charitable organizations FREE ZONE and Light of Hope, DVV International Ukraine, as well as the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, the Administration of the Internal Affairs Committee of Ukraine, the Center for Probation, Ukrainian Center for Educational Quality Assessment, The state enterprise "INFORMRESURS", the Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on human rights.
While being in prison learning and developing certain life skills can help convicts to find the place in society and become its full members. Unfortunately, the access of Ukrainian convicts to the programs of continuing education is limited today. Among the reasons for such a situation are not only economic but mainly legislative boundaries, which does not allow supplementing the range of educational services with non-formal education programs.
According to the DVV International Regional Director in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova Bettini Brand, education is an important element in human development throughout life and society as a whole. That is why the discussion on the topic of resocialization of convicts and the role of education in this process at such a level, according to Bettina Brand, should be the impetus for changes in the penitentiary system.
The head of the FREE ZONE Oleksiy Zagrebelnyi believes that the approach to the issue of convicts' access to educational services should be comprehensive - it is the responsibility of the entire society.
"Already at the level of the Ministry of Justice, we are discussing such an important issue as the introduction of a penitentiary probation. It allows prisoners in detention facilities to prepare for life after their release. This is not the responsibility of only the penitentiary institution. It also involves probation bodies. Importantly, it also enables non-governmental organizations to be involved in order to approach the dismissal in a comprehensive manner, and allows for more successful re-socialization of convicts, "says Oleksiy.
In his opinion, it is extremely important to introduce educational services that help to acquire life skills.
Today, when world's leading universities gave the free access to their resources, there has been scope for expanding the range of industries that can be available to convicted prisoners.
That is why it is important to change the format of education. CO "Light of Hope" has prepared video course on life skills for convicts. The course was presented during the round table by the head of the charity organization Roman Drozd.
The participants also had the opportunity to visit the exhibition of portrait photographs of convicts with their stories and thoughts on why they want to get education.
The event was organized by FREE ZONE in partnership with "Light of Hope" and DVV International Ukraine with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany.