Correctional Services class of 2023 achieves 93.2% pass rate

The matric pass rate of inmates at correctional facilities has reached some 93.2%, with a total of 137 out of 147 full time candidates passing the 2023 National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams. Part-time candidates achieved a pass rate of 84%. In a ceremony celebrating the 2023 matriculants, Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola congratulated candidates who achieved no less than 100 Bachelor passes, 41 Diploma passes and some 16 Higher Certificate passes. 'To our learners, despite the tough conditions as a result of incarceration, your determination, unmatched commitment, and hard work have paid off and you triumphed where some of your peers outside failed. You have done us, your families and the entire country proud. 'We congratulate you for raising high the flag of Correctional Services, a welcome development we applaud. When we release you, go out there and be good ambassadors of Correctional Services. Behave yourselves and do not engage in activities which will bring you into confli ct with the law again,' he said. The Correctional Services class of 2023 also achieved 129 distinctions, with nine schools obtaining a 100% pass rate. 'Those of you who will be registering for higher education, work hard in your studies so that you not only complete your degrees in record time, but also attain distinctions in your subjects. I want to remind all of you again, as we do annually, that we do not pay tuition fees of inmates at institutions of higher learning, rather their families and bursaries carry the costs,' Lamola said. The Minister described some of the programmes set up for inmates, which he said are designed to 'empower inmates to transform their lives and enable them not to return to their previous lives of crime'. One of those programmes is the Self-Sufficiency Strategic Framework, which transfers skills to inmates where they produce 'their own food, renovate public infrastructure such as schools, clinics and orphanage centres'. 'We have worked together with the provincial Departmen ts of Education in the country to paint and renovate schools to ensure that learners attend classes in a conducive environment. 'We equally have built houses for the victims of crime who were living in dilapidated structures, and our inmates have restored the dignity of our people. Inmates have also established sustainable vegetable gardens in communities and schools to fight against hunger and poverty through the self-sufficiency and strategic framework,' he said. According to Lamola, this programme has allowed inmates to return to communities with skills. 'Today some of our communities boasts of plumbers, brick-layers, hair stylists, beautification specialists, bakers, and farmers, to mention but a few as a result of skills that were transferred to inmates during their term of incarceration. 'We have equally offered employers resourceful, gainful and adaptable employees who are contributing towards the growth of various companies across the country. All that we are appealing for is for employers not to overlook our skilled parolees but rather give them equal opportunities and pay them fairly for their labour. 'I want to reiterate that we remain resolute in making education compulsory for all young offenders, they must leave our correctional centres with skills which will empower them to live crime free lives,' Lamola said. Source: South African Government News Agency