Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has congratulated inmates on achieving a 79,25% pass rate in the 2012 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations, compared to 68,06% in 2011.
Of the 53 offenders who wrote all subjects for the 2012 NSC exam, 22 offenders achieved results that qualified them to study towards Bachelor qualifications, 15 qualified to study towards a Diploma and five qualified towards a Higher Certificate. The best performing inmate was Chris Phumulani Mazibuko from UseThubeni Youth School at Durban Westville Youth Centre who achieved five distinctions in IsiZulu Home Language, English first Additional language, Life Orientation, Business Studies and Economics.
The best performing Correctional Centre School was Johannesburg Correctional Centre School which achieved a 94,11% pass rate, followed by UseThubeni Youth School (KwaZulu-Natal) which achieved a 81,48% pass rate and Emthonjeni Combined School (Gauteng Region) which achieved a 66,66% pass rate.
"We want to congratulate our inmates on achieving a 79,25% pass rate in the 2012 NSC examinations, and wish them every success in their efforts to empower, and improve, their lives. We also want to convey our appreciation to all role-players, including the educators, tutors and correctional officials. One thousand four hundred and twenty eight (1,428) offenders are registered to write the Report 550 Examinations (previous Grade 12 curriculum) in May/June this year.
"Congratulations also to those inmates studying towards other qualifications who passed their exams. One thousand and forty nine (1,049) offenders are studying towards post-matric/higher education and training qualifications, 4,042 towards further education and training (FET) college programmes (including electrical engineering, civil engineering, mechanical engineering and marketing) and 3,853 towards skills development programmes (including basic business skills training and entrepreneurship).
"From the new financial year (which commences 1 April 2013), it will be compulsory for every inmate who does not have a qualification equivalent to Grade 9 to complete Adult Education and Training (AET) level 1 to 4. We are working towards turning our prisons into learning centres, and we want offenders to read, read, read, study, study, study and work, work, work. 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 while they serve their sentences. We want to see offenders proudly contributing to their self-care. As government, we remain fully committed to our shared vision of a caring and just society enjoining us to afford even those who err against society the opportunity to correct and mend their ways under humane conditions. We must go all out to rehabilitate and create conditions for those seriously seeking opportunities for change in their lives to access them," said the Minister.