Inmates focus on new dream

2016-10-26 06:00
MEC of Education Martha Bartlett addressing the Tswelopelo Secondary school candidates. Photo: Boipelo Mere

MEC of Education Martha Bartlett addressing the Tswelopelo Secondary school candidates. Photo: Boipelo Mere

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Zandile Mthulisi is looking forward to be among the 25 inmates of the Tswelopele Correctional Service Centre to improve the Northern Cape pass rate.

Mthulisi, an inmate originally from Sterkspruit, grabbed the opportunity of doing his gr. 12 after being disappointed by his previous matric results, in which he performed mostly poorly.

He sees the upcoming exams under the new education curriculum as the gateway to his dream of qualifying for Business Management of Law studies and running his own business.

Seeing that he only has two years of his ten-year sentence left, he was pleased by the promise by the Northern Cape MEC for Education that all matriculants at his school were guaranteed bursaries to study further.

The MEC addressed the class of 2016 of the Tswelopele Correctional Service Centre and motivated them to work harder to increase their 91,67% pass rate of 2015 to 100% in 2016.

That is after they had been rated the Class of 2015 Top Performing Correctional Service Centre in South Africa last year.

However, Bartlett motivated the learners not to focus on producing results for higher certificates.

This year, the number of gr. 12 candidates increased from 12 to 25. The school principal, Oduetse Malefo, proudly revealed that the centre was motivated by the previous year’s good performance.

“We are eyeing that 100%, thus we doubled our efforts in all our intervention programmes and beefed up our team by adding three more educators,” said Malefo.

“Seeing that we had an increase in the number of candidates doing Maths and Science, we worked harder in those subjects.”

According to Mthulisi, the importance of education only dawned on him after he was incarcerated.

“My mindset changed completely when I got in here. Its like I became a new person, with dreams to see growth.

“That is why I will use the support that we get from the centre and the teachers to my advantage towards passing my matric,” he said.

Another inmate, Justice Jasong, said he was definitely ready for the examination and attested to have won the battle of working on the various challenges that they had with their teachers.

He is already in the process of applying for Business Management qualifications through the University of South Africa (Unisa) and is positive that he will achieve good results.

His dream is to manage his own company and create jobs and he is positive that he will not lose focus of his dream upon his release next year.

Bartlett urged the candidates to leave whatever landed them in prison there and not allow it to return.

“I am confident that the class of 2016 will give us that 100%.

“God gave you a second chance, so that you must leave this place with dignity.

“Poverty and unemployment should not be an excuse for you to land here,” she concluded.

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