Kenya: NGO Seeks Parliament Intervention to Restore Prisons' Grade Tests

29 November 2020

Nairobi — A Non-Governmental Organisation working with prisoners in Kenya has petitioned the National Assembly to intervene in ensuring prisons' budgetary allocation for grade tests is restored.

Embakasi West MP George Theuri presented the petition on behalf of Goal Welfare Trust after the Government withdrew funding for the grade tests, thereby dealing a major setback to the success of training programmes.

In the Petition which was transmitted to the House team on Finance, Theuri notes that for over 17 years the Government has supported the initiative by paying fees to the relevant examination bodies which have resulted in thousands of former prisoners graduating and eventually running their own business upon release from prison.

"The prisoners are no longer motivated to get trained or to undertake grade tests while in prison. Efforts to address this matter with relevant authorities have not borne much fruit," he said.

The trust is an NGO which promotes the dignity of prisoners by enhancing collaborative efforts towards their rehabilitation and reintegration into the community by strengthening their capacity for quality life solution.

In the petition, the NGO says it trains and educates officers working in prison and was instrumental in lobbying for the right to education, including the right of prisoners to sit for KCPE and KCSE.

Inmates' vocational training projects in prisons have presumed the goal of preparing inmates for productive roles in society.

According to the Kenya Prisons Service website, the evaluation is typically focused on how well inmates develop marketable job skills.

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