Westville prison school sure of 100% matric pass
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DURBAN - USETHUBENI School at the Westville Correctional Services Centre aimed for a sterling 100% pass rate in their matric results.
The school has been achieving 100% consecutively since 2015.
Department of Education acting head Dr Barney Mthembu monitored the National Senior Certificate matric exams on behalf of MEC Kwazi Mshengu at the school, where 19 male inmates wrote Isizulu paper 3 on Tuesday.
Mthembu said the visit was to encourage inmates to further their studies beyond matric in an effort to make their lives better.
He said the department was working towards ensuring that the facilities in prison schools were improved to equal those of public schooling.
“We are grateful that the inmates of this facility have taken the opportunity of correcting their wrongs, including taking education seriously. We have always received good results from this school, which also contributes to the province’s pass mark. As a result, it is our duty to improve the plan of 2021/2022 to ensure these students get the same quality education as the schools outside.
“Finding yourself in a situation like this (in prison) can make you too comfortable. We do acknowledge the effort of these learners to move out of their comfort zone and further their studies.”
A total of 32 inmates under the age of 25 wrote their matric examinations including part-time, 69 wrote the AET level 4, a qualification for teaching in the Learning and Skills Sector while 56 others were studying in higher education through the University of South Africa, Regent college and other colleges.
Thembinkosi Dlamini, 21, said it felt good to know they were cared for.
“This opportunity alone proves that there is lot of love and support we are getting regardless of being prisoners. I feel very emotional, I’m happy today realising that I have studied this far. I am so proud of myself and others,” he said.
“I have been attending school for the past three years. I can proudly say this is the best decision I have ever taken. I am grateful to Ms Mkhize who took us out of bad decision places inside us and encouraged us to study and make our lives meaningful.”
Correctional Service’s regional head for development and care, Jabulisile Chonco, said they were optimistic they would maintain their pass rate.
Chonco said they were planning to invite inmates who had completed their higher education learning to encourage other inmates next year.