A total of fifty-one/51 Prisoners from the Nation’s Prisons have sat for this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) across the country. This comprised 26 Juveniles from the Senior Correctional Centre (SCC), 9 inmates from the Nsawam Medium Security Prisons, 8 inmates from the Kumasi Central Prison, 4 inmates from the Ankaful Maximum Security Prison and 4 inmates from the Sunyani Central Prisons.

According to the Officer In Charge of the Senior Correctional Centre, DDP Millicent Owusu, the Juveniles (candidates) who were between the ages 13-21 have gone through intensive preparation and training by professional trained teachers of the Ghana Prisons Service and some from the Ghana Education Service.

‘’We have trained teachers with us and when it is getting to examination , we try to invite the education unit from the Ayawaso District to come and talk with them and also give them the requisite information that they may need to hold on to face the examination with courage and enthusiasm. Our officers are always with them every morning to discuss past questions to enable them successfully write the exams’, DDP Owusu added.

She outlined some challenges such as inadequate teaching and learning materials for the inmates to upgrade themselves. She urged the public to come to the aid of the inmates especially the juveniles at the SCC and donate materials such as textbooks and past questions to enhance their studies.

An inmate of the Centre (name withheld) said it is his dream to become an Engineer in future. ‘Our dream can only materialize if the general public come to our aid and support us with the needed materials like computers and past questions on all the subjects to adequately prepare us for the Exams. I also want to commend our teachers who are Prisons Officers for sacrificing all their time to teach and groom us, so that we come out with flying colours’, he stated.

He urged the public especially family and friends not to shun from them, but rather accept them when thay are discharged. He said they (candidates form SCC) were optimistic to excel in all the 8 subjects and make the Prisons Service proud.

The Ghana Prisons Service in its quest to deliver on its reformation and rehabilitation mandate and in line with modern universal best practices introduced inmates formal education on a pilot basis at the SCC in 2007 and later extended it to the other prisons. This was to help the inmates acquire some basic literacy skills as well as certification to facilitate their smooth reintegration upon discharge and also to reduce recidivism.

The first batch sat for the BECE in 2009 and they were 21 juveniles and young offenders. The Centre has had 100% passes since 2009.

Story by: DSP Irene W. P. Arthur
Photos: L/CPL Justice Selorm Gadri

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