The proposal by education experts to make open and distance learning accessible to more inmates carries weight.

It is indeed high time the government took the issue further through wider consultations with various stakeholders in the education and justice systems.

According to the Open University of Tanzania (OUT) officials, there have been deliberate attempts to encourage inmates in correctional facilities across the country to pursue distance education while serving jail terms.

However, this has been episodic. And expectedly, there are various challenges regarding logistics.

At a recent meeting to discuss opportunities and challenges of open and distance learning in Africa, the OUT vice chancellor Prof Elifas Bisanda noted that the biggest hurdle is how to ensure that inmates access learning materials.

There is the big question on internet access.

We believe that Tanzania can make a difference in the lives of inmates through the provision of distance education.

There are various success stories of convicts who did well after graduating while in jail.

What the government needs to do is seriously consider this proposal, and consult with education stakeholders.

Certainly, for such a worthy cause, it should not be a problem getting the private sector and NGOs on board.