CELEBRATING its 30th anniversary of education for prison inmates, the Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU) hosted a graduation ceremony for 114 inmate graduates yesterday.
They included a summa cum laude, a magna cum laude and two multiple-degree graduates.
An inmate representative urged the Corrections Department to introduce education achievement as part of its consideration in granting pardon releases to inmates. He thanked the department and STOU for giving them the educational opportunity and helping them prepare for a new life in society after their release from prison.
The ceremony was presided over by department director-general Suchart Wongananchai at Nonthaburi’s Bang Kwang Prison.
During the ceremony, STOU president Chailert Pichitpornchai presented a gold medal to the summa cum laude graduate Surachet Chanpraneet (with GPA 4.0) and a silver medal to the magna cum laude graduate Ratana Malila.
He also presented four bachelor degree certificates to inmate Suknetra Chanthapoon and three bachelor degree certificates to inmate Charoen Suwanpakdee.
Chailert said the STOU education management programme for inmates, established in 1984, had seen an inmate earn as many as seven bachelor degree certificates. As a result, the institute has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Corrections Department to provide master degree programmes at Bang Kwang Prison.
Suchart said that 3,378 inmates were currently studying with STOU (2,934 males and 444 females) and 1,932 inmates had graduated.The most popular fields of study were Management Science, Forensic Science and Agricultural Extension and Co-operatives.
During the celebration, the graduates’ parents, teachers and other inmates joined in to congratulate the graduates. Former singer and drug inmate Worayos “Power Pat” Boonthongnoom said he had obtained a Bachelor Degree in Arts (Information Science) and was now studying for another Bachelor Degree in Arts (Thai Studies).