Inmates shine, achieve 87.5% matric pass rate in 2022

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola has celebrated the achievement of incarcerated inmates who wrote their matric in 2022.

The department recorded a huge improvement, citing that the inmates’ matric pass rate jumped from 77% in 2021 to 87.5% in 2022, with 52.8% of them registering a bachelor’s pass, 24.2% diploma pass, and 10.4% higher certificate pass.

Four learners obtained six distinctions, which pushed 11 Correctional Services schools to achieve 100% pass rate.

• Usethubeni Youth and Baviaanspoort Youth achieved 100% for the last seven years
• Umlalati and Qalakabusha achieved 100% for the last four years
• Johannesburg Correctional Centre and St Albans achieved 100% for the first time since they enrolled grade 12 learners
• Cradock, Rustenburg Correctional Centre (Thuto-Kitso) and Groenpunt Correctional Centre (Bokamoso SS) achieved 100% for the second year in a row
• Estcourt Correctional Centre (Sicebengolwazi) and Mangaung (Liberty Independent Sec School) had their first grade 12 classes in 2022. They achieved 100%

Lamola said the inmates are more than determined to fully utilise a second chance provided to them and are grasping with both hands the opportunities that will enable them to be upright citizens when released.

“It is for this reason that we are determined to ensure that inmates do not just sit and idle in their cells and our facilities, they must take part in educational programmes,” Lamola said.

“A bright future becomes more tangible if they pursue education as a form of rehabilitation. Upon returning to society, they become different people.”

He added that the inmates were competing with learners from all parts of the world, noting that their newly acquired knowledge and skills will be a pathway to careers that will set them on a life of greatness.

“We have seen education restoring inmates’ self-esteem and social competence. Among our ex-offenders, we count among others professors, doctors [PhD], and people of high esteem,” Lamola said.

He appealed to society to refrain from discriminating against the ex-offenders. “Where should they utilise their acquired skills if their own communities turn their backs on their efforts to earn an honest living?

“Out there, competition for jobs is tough, don’t bask in your glory for long, start applying for bursaries to further your education and register for degrees in your chosen fields of study.”

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