Prisoners achieve 69% matric pass rate

2015-01-07 13:49

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Cape Town – The 185 prisoners who wrote the matric exams last year achieved an average 68.9%, Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha has announced.

That’s up from 58.8% in 2013.

Masutha released the results of the national 14 Correctional Centre Schools at the Goodwood prison in Cape Town today.

One school, the Emthonjeni youth centre at the Baviaanspoort Prison in Gauteng, attained a 100% pass rate.

The school’s principal, Brigadier Remember Ramohoebo, who today received a trophy on behalf of the school, was bursting with pride.

“I’ve been doing this for years, and it is the first time that our work has been acknowledged like this.”

The recipe for success, according to Ramohoebo, is “the same as for any other school – get the parents involved, because to educate a child properly is a team effort”.

The top five schools achieved an average pass rate of 83.6% and 24 distinctions, most of which came from students at the Usethubeni youth centre in Durban.

The centre’s Njabulo Gumede (22) was the top achiever. His dream is to become an accountant.

“I didn’t know that there was a school in prison. I would like to encourage other people to go to school. Life doesn’t stop when you are incarcerated,” said Gumede, who is serving a sentence for robbery.

“You make life easier for yourself when you have a matric certificate. A person is nothing without an education – but stay out of jail. Not everyone gets a second chance.”

According to Masutha, the department’s financial responsibilities end at matric, but prisoners are encouraged to keep studying.

He plans to start a campaign to get employers on board to create job opportunities for prisoners once they are released from jail.

He said that about 35 000 prisoners haven’t even passed Grade 9, despite the law requiring prisoners younger than 25 to be trained and educated.

The past financial year saw the department spend about R687?million on training and development programmes for prisoners.

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