Prisoners to get compulsory education

2012-10-18 15:29

Johannesburg - Adult education courses will be compulsory for prisoners starting next year, the department of correctional services said on Thursday.

Prisoners would be expected to complete the Adult Basic Education Training (ABET) programme from levels one to four, the department said in a statement.

"We are working towards turning our prisons into schools, and we want offenders to read, read, read, study, study, study and work, work, work," the statement read.

"[The] key to rehabilitation is empowering offenders to have skills to function effectively in society on their release but, equally important, is to ensure that offenders are actively involved in productive activity."

The department said the education courses were important for rehabilitating prisoners before they were released back into their communities.

Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele called on inmates studying for matric to improve their pass rate to 100% from the 90% average of the past six years.

The department said there were 1 873 inmates studying for Grade 12 in the prison system.

Another 1 049 inmates were studying for a post-matric education or training qualifications.

  • kala.bafazi - 2012-10-18 15:35

    WTF!!!! Surely the government should get the education of our youth right first!! More rights for prisoners it seems. Why the hell is the government wasting money on people hell bent on destroying society?

      p.borchard - 2012-10-18 15:53

      What will the teacher do if their homework isn't done - add jail time? At least this would better equip the rehabilitable ones to go back into society with more skills. However it bugs me when they get to do degree courses etc for free without some form of payback - like having the medical students do compulsory service to the community.

      george.pistorius - 2012-10-18 16:17

      Why do they wan't them to learn??? So they can steal and not get caught next time???

      christopher.shining - 2012-10-18 16:20

      Well Nelson made it happen...These prisoners if they wanted to could have asked for the relevant books to educate themselves, but they don't so why the fu*K enrol a compulsory education? fu**en morons! lets give our people, the youth(have you forgotten about them) the free education you morons!

      michal.mierzwa - 2012-10-18 17:05

      Doesn't such news makes you want to commit a crime so you can get free education as a reward? Next thing we'll have free Tertiary Education while the rest is paying off academic debts. What the heck?

      George - 2012-10-18 17:10

      Let me guess! How to respond to a tender in 10 easy steps!

      George - 2012-10-18 17:13

      So, when JZ eventually lands in jail he will get to complete his schooling. Wonderful thought; and richly deserved.

      susanna.smit.7 - 2012-10-18 18:05

      Will they get six of the best for not knowing their abc's or made to stand in a corner when misbehaving?

      willem.vanrensburg.562 - 2012-10-24 16:56

      Kala.. What you are saying, sounds correct, BUT, any education is good, and it’s never too late to learn . In the past, almost all jails/prisons had trade workshops. They made some amazing wood furniture, taught inmates to become brick layers and upholsterers. It gave the prisoners something to do as well as earned them money and later an opportunity to find employment. That was REAL rehabilitation. Furthermore, work teams were hired out to farm to assist with projects requiring labour. Sort of a chain gang sort of team, except, they would learn the ways of agriculture and forestry. I really do believe that our country would profit in more ways than one if the old system of TEACHING prisoners instead of just letting them sit around ,were reintroduced.

  • johny.stront - 2012-10-18 15:36


  • gerhardus.windpomp - 2012-10-18 15:42

    They going to wait freaking long for their text books, lol!

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-18 15:45

    Make it also compulsory for children up to 30? We all know some 30 year old youths missed the education bus.

  • Andrea - 2012-10-18 15:46

    2922 prisoners out of how many THOUSANDS? That is fair, if they want to let them do it, but how about we bring back the "trade qualifications" done in the years of, dare I say, APARTHEID? Not everything was so terribly bad back then. Some measure of further qualification should be implemented, we already have thousands of school leavers unable to find jobs, now we will have criminally inclined matriculants to place as well, although that will go really far for the BBBEE status of priveleged companies.

  • anakin.skyvader.9 - 2012-10-18 15:47

    ", read, read, study, study, study and work, work, work.." uum don't you mean " break, break, break, burn, burn, burn, steal, steal, steal" and if they don't WANT to learn what are you going to do? Spank them? Next fairytale please...

  • jess.scholtz.18 - 2012-10-18 15:47

    Under normal circumstances I wouldn't see a problem with this in a prisoner rehabilitation program, except that I remembered that it takes nearly a full school year for textbooks to be delivered to the ones who need education the most.

  • Sammy Willow - 2012-10-18 15:50

    if they dont get an education and some sort of skill, how do u plan to have crime stats to come down

      mc.segal.5 - 2012-10-18 16:47

      Give them education Up front ...might Keep them out of Jail.

      jess.scholtz.18 - 2012-10-18 16:59

      Prevention is better than cure.

  • johan.pienaar.144 - 2012-10-18 15:51

    So in other words children who wants a education should first break the law before education is given.

      beverly.pearce.33 - 2012-10-18 15:57

      I agree with you how sad

      ludwe.kolwapi - 2012-10-18 16:12

      Same here! Why are criminals being rewarded,I'm talking about rapists,paedophiles,killers here,those people should clean our streets and scrub toilets imo,and johan,kids will interpret this as the only way to get an education,I know they mean good but it won't work

  • lebohang.mokoma - 2012-10-18 15:53

    We just have to b positive. I strongly believe its a good idea even though there might be challenges

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-10-18 15:58

    Oh you have to love South Africa.....Here we will have criminals competing with post matrics for a job. Suppose criminals marks will be much higher than the others. Eish.......crime definetly pays in this country. Maybe our Julius will have a chance to improve his education should he find himself in the chookie.

  • george.slade.161 - 2012-10-18 16:01

    Great Idea---Send ANC MP,s, there as well. Robben Island has produced Thick as Planks Prisoners. They remain Criminals for stealing the Country dry !

      nketso.kgwadi - 2012-10-18 17:11

      @george do u know that when the whites govern were vacating the office they took billions of rands with and formed businesses with that money, find out how the citizen newspaper came by, the black govern had to pay to bilions on loans to imf first b4 they could take care of its people.

  • bevan.carpenter.1 - 2012-10-18 16:05

    and then the inmates will probably get preference as BEE candidates above recently graduated people, go cANCer go!!!

  • japie.bosman - 2012-10-18 16:09

    I know we want prisoners to suffer in jail for their deeds. But if they were to break rocks all they long, or sit and do nothing, by the time they get released and they will get released they will have no skills and just commit crimes again. But if they get the opportunity to learn some form of skill, through education, they might have a better chance of not committing crime again. So then they and the community win.

  • nyiko.ngobeni.5011 - 2012-10-18 16:10

    Well that's what rehabilitation should include. You can't release a person with no prospect to find work. They will just do crime again

  • ulrich.debeer - 2012-10-18 16:11

    Wtf!!! I say, If you did the crime do the time. You should have no right to vote, No right to further you education you should not even be allowed a TV/Radio or Pet for good behavior. You should be locked up and ignored. "I'm a tax payer and I am fed-up sponsoring these people."

      ckiddo - 2012-10-18 16:20


      vuyelwa.kamlana - 2012-10-18 16:46

      Agree with you South African government is going nuts. There's people out there who really need education and they waste money on killers, thieves, rapists, whoever is inside.

      Onke Mdingi - 2012-10-18 16:51

      Not a good ideaat all because the law-abiding citizen (unempoyable) seems to be left out as the CRIMINAL gets preference on opportunities like basic food (which is paid for by the very law-abiding), education etc..What this tells the youth is that they must commit serious crimes to be far 'better' in this country.

  • jaco.slabbert - 2012-10-18 16:11

    This is a great idea!

  • lorraine.polson1 - 2012-10-18 16:13

    NOW we are talking!! Excellent idea.

  • jabulani.mokomane - 2012-10-18 16:14

    Good stuff!!!

  • tony.angel.3975 - 2012-10-18 16:40

    Ja,educate them so that they can steal,murder,rape etc.!! Swines!!

  • Tiaan Liebenberg - 2012-10-18 16:42

    Agh damn. No more free meals and free lodging. Thought there was some sort of rehab program already?

      Tiaan Liebenberg - 2012-10-18 16:50

      And if they flunk, they should get 1 year added to their sentence. OR be released prematurely and go straight into a government job.

  • kgaladi.tshepisho - 2012-10-18 16:48

    i dnt see de reason of forcing a donkey 2 drink water . dis ppl r destroyin our society so y is dat importand 4 dem 2 b given a scnd chance? ai mmuxo wa gabo rena wa borah wa tseba

  • enoch.sphola - 2012-10-18 16:50

    You steal and go to prison to get a degree... Lol

  • nmcetywa1 - 2012-10-18 16:52


  • gennath - 2012-10-18 17:00

    Lack of an education causes so many socio-economic problems. This is a step in the right direction.

  • dennis.vermaak.5 - 2012-10-18 17:07

    Faaque, why not send them to Maritius for a diving course !! THEY ARE CRIMINALS NOT POLITICIANS !!

  • steven.m.armour - 2012-10-18 17:29

    Think i must go to education.Lekker.Where can i enrol?

  • donovan.hendricks.7 - 2012-10-18 17:40

    Ok, and who is getting the tender to deliver their textbooks?

      tsakanimongwe.tsakani - 2013-01-17 14:14

      i understand that education is compalizary at prison my question is whe are the teacher to teach the inmate

  • vicki.malatse - 2012-10-18 18:03

    Jub jub should count himself very luck,atleast he has now be given an opportunity to finish or further his schooing,kids he killed were not this fortunate,and the least said about the ones he cause brain damage to, the better

  • tim.ngy.1 - 2012-10-18 18:21

    Great news indeed, it seems we actually have brains,plz let make use of them to improve the lives of south Africans.

  • siphom.mnguni - 2012-10-18 18:26

    One of the sick jokes I've ever heard in many years. Call me a cynic I don't mind that. But realist in me tells me that this is bollocks. Let's start here, he/she was bunking classes in his/her schooling. He/she was lazy to do homework. All of sudden that now he/she is incarcerated he/she develops such a keen interest in education. Welcome to the world of make-believe where even birds will go to school come 2013. Wonderful, marvellous, that's what my primary school English teacher you to many moons ago.

  • anele.mveku - 2012-10-18 18:45

    I would love to believe that is is a great idea but am worried how effective will t be, let's face t if they dnt wanna study they simple wnt and therefore thy will fail and fail.

  • thabo.modiba.7 - 2012-10-18 19:21

    In no time there will be a need for the Minister of Prison Education and a Department. Just exclude the ones serving life sentence and those who are over the age of 55.

      komorison - 2012-10-18 20:11

      And vice Chancellor for Prison University! Sheez, what next, half of prison punishment is to be removed from society ... but then again, they prisoners get to vote ...

  • thamifraser - 2012-10-18 21:12

    This is the fundamental problem with our South African society. We first let people offend and land up in prison, then we become serious about their education. Education in South Africa is compulsory, but we pay lip service to the regulation. Many of our learners drop out of school for various reasons, many of them for socio-economic reasons. No interventions from government to support struggling families, because we told of government's lack of funds. Drop-out youth get snared in gangsterism, drugs, unwanted pregnancies, crime, with many of them ending up in prison. Then somehow miraculously, once the youngsters are in prison, government finds money to house and feed them, and for some flimsy rehabilitation programmes. We don't need more prisons in South Africa. We need a caring, society that acts in a proactive manner, putting in place programmes that empower those among us who haven't got the means to follow through to realize even a fraction of their God-given talents and potential. Building more prisons hasn't reduced crime. It hasn't made our country more safer. Our prisons are over crowded in spite of all the efforts to build more prisons. Clearly building more prisons isn't the solution. There will always be a need for prisons because you will always have people who commit crime in the best of circumstances. But it also true that we need to urgently move from a retributive society to a more restorative society that cares about its citizens before they end up in jail.

  • sisie.indola - 2012-10-19 07:30

    Can't educate the youth but for heavens sake we have this brilliant idea to educate the adults in prison. I know why i read online news it's a laugh a minute. And in today's world you need comedy to make the day brighter.

  • steven.lirumo - 2012-10-19 08:18

    Well done to the goverment. this are de only people we are afraid of because 90% of criminals have no education and dey hav diferent understanding to ours.Now goverment must also focus to dose guys in the street corners to achieve deir goal.

  • jaco.krige.9 - 2012-10-19 11:12

    Brilliant,NOT!!A leopard does not change his spots!There are alot of poeple without jobs competeing with each other,now they've to compete with criminals to!We have a labour force in prisons that can work for free,why not let them do the work of eg. fixing our roads etc. , thereby teachhing them a skill wich they can use later.This is just another way of making the criminals life better.The people who do not commit crimes should have these rights criminals are getting!!

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