Prisoners shine with 76% matric pass

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File: The Department of Correctional Services is determined to change the impression of the facility. 

JOHANNESBURG - Inmates who sat for the 2017 matric examinations achieved 76.7 percent, an improvement of 4,6 percent from 2016, the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) said on Friday.

The announcement of the prisoners&39; results comes after Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga released the 2017 National Senior Centificate results on Friday.

The DCS said four of their schools redorced a 100 percent pass.

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"This is a huge milestone for DCS as it registered the highest number of matriculants (233) since the inception of formal education in 2007 - when it only had one school with 21 inmates. The 76.7 percent pass rate is comprised of 48 bachelors, 55 Diplomas and 39 higher certificates. This is an enormous upsurge when compared to the 2016 academic year as it only registered 40 bachelors, 47 diplomas and 12 certificate pass respectively," the department said in a statement.

The DCS said there was an increase in enrolment for subjects such as Mathematics, Accounting and Physical Science in 2017.

"The best performing inmate is Samkelo Mpofana from Usethubeni Youth Centre (Durban Westville Correctional Centre) who achieved five (5) distinctions in IsiZulu, English, Life Orientation, History and Tourism. The other best performing inmates (Senzo Fundzo and Sicelo Chili) from the same school, respectively obtained three distinctions.

"The top achiever in Mathematics and Physical Sciences is Shiba Ndumiso Brightman from Ekuseni Correctional Centre in Newcastle, KZN. This is a new school which had matric examinations for the first time in the 2017 academic year," the DCS said.

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The Acting National Commissioner of Correctional Services, James Smalberger thanked both the inmates and educators for their "strong work ethic."

“Education is not the only avenue towards recovering and protecting one’s dignity in a correctional facility, but it is a major one. Further to that, it offers a modicum of the authority required of a person for self-creation,” said Smalberger.

He said the matric pass rate of 2017 would encourage other inmates to enroll for formal education.

South Africa has an everage inmate population of 160, 280.