Among the pupils writing their matric exams this year, which commenced on Monday, 29 are offenders registered by the Gauteng department of correctional services, reports Pretoria East Rekord.
Out of the 29 offenders sitting for exams, six are from Tshwane, according to the department’s spokesperson Mocheta Monama.
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The exams come after a year-long preparation by both determined offenders and educationists, said Monama.
In 2017, the Emthonjeni youth centre under the Baviaanspoort correctional facility obtained a 100% pass rate, which ensured them position one in district D1: Tshwane north.
“The youth centre will be hoping to repeat their groundbreaking performance this time around also,” he said.
“Education in correctional facilities must be in line with the educational system of the general society. Through the partnership between correctional services and the department of basic education, we believe offenders are ready to put their hard work to test.”
Last month, at least 127 inmates from correctional centres across Gauteng graduated with various higher education qualifications, receiving certificates, diplomas, as well as bachelors and honours degrees.
The graduation ceremony was held at the Boksburg correctional facility on September 21.
Monama said they hoped that all successful pupils who will be writing exams will follow in the footsteps of these 127 inmates.
“We hope for an increase in matric enrolments within our centres for the new year. Our mandate is to rehabilitate offenders and one of the ways to achieve that is to provide offenders with all the necessary support.”
He said through education, they aim to minimise recidivism levels and ensure offenders are prepared for life after they are released.
He added that offenders are given support to obtain education from school level up to a higher education and training level.