Dubai launches IT training program for prison inmates

The Ta'aheel Project aims to help young inmates utilise the power of IT to re-engage with society upon their release.

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By  Sarah Gain Published  June 5, 2005

Dubai e-government, in association with Microsoft, has launched a landmark program to provide technology training to the inmates of prisons in Dubai, in order to enable young inmates to utilise IT skills to re-engage with society on their release and become responsible citizens, contributing to the progress of society. The training program is carried out in partnership with Dubai Police Department. As part of the first phase of the Ta'aheel Project to rehabilitate prison inmates, IT training will be imparted to personnel of the Dubai Police, who in turn will pass on the acquired skills to the inmates. Salem Al Shair, e-services director for Dubai e-government, said, "The technology training program is a reflection of the e-government's commitment to break down the digital divide and ensure that the benefits of technology reach as wide a section of the population as possible.” It is hoped that bringing the inmates into the IT sphere, will help them lead a normal life upon their release by making use of the gathered skills to re-engage with society, thus lowering their risk of re-offending. Amna Al-Nakhi, the academic program and community affairs manager at Microsoft South Gulf, says, "At Microsoft, we know that amazing things happen when people have access to the right resources to help them pursue their dreams. We have seen it again and again when we have worked with the unprivileged children, women and other citizens and it did create a lasting difference in hundreds of communities and thousands of lives around the Middle East. Our goal is to truly empower people and communities — even prisoners — by making sure they have the tools, skills and resources to overcome not only today’s challenges, but also those that will arise in the future, and the Ta'aheel Project is part of our larger efforts toward this goal." The training will be conducted for five hours a day for a period of two months, and will stretch a total of 102-110 hours. The Unlimited Potential Curriculum contains eight modules, wherein the fundamentals of computing; digital media; internet; web design; word processing; presentation; database and spreadsheet will be taught.

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