Minister Lamola applauds class of 2021 inmate matric learners for obtaining impressive results

MainMatricAmidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the class of 2021 inmate matric learners knuckled down and weathered the storm to achieve an impressive 89,83% pass rate for full time learners. These results were officially released by the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services (DCS), Ronald Lamola, on 24 January 2022 at Barberton Correctional Centre in Mpumalanga.As part of rehabilitation, the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), provides an array of programmes that are aimed at correcting offending behaviour and promoting the human development of inmates. These include formal education and skills development programmes designed to empower offenders with skills which will make them employable upon their release. It is for the same purpose that in its correctional centres across the country, the department has 17 schools that offer formal education to inmates.

Although inmates may be incarcerated and isolated from the society, correctional centres are not a barrier for inmates to attain education. DCS also has an obligation to facilitate the achievement of rehabilitation and to assist offenders to better their lives, by correcting their offending behaviour, and thus preventing recidivism. This overriding sentiment was emphasized by Minister Lamola when he was delivering his keynote address. He urged officials to ensure that all inmates, especially those under 30 years old, are encouraged to enrol for Matric classes. He also commended the class of 2021 inmate matric learners who endured various challenges, including COVID-19 and overcame them by producing remarkable results. Acknowledging educators in all the 14 schools which registered for the 2021 NSC examination, Minister Lamola applauded them for their resilience and determination that enabled the learners to lay a firm foundation for their future and ensure that they successfully complete their matric studies

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Altogether, DCS registered 191 matric learners in 2021. Of these, 147 passed, with 77 achieving bachelors, 47 diplomas and 23 higher certificate passes. Notably, eight of the schools achieved 100% pass rate. Khanyile Faba (23), from Brandvlei Correctional Centre in the Western Cape region, attained distinctions in all his 7 subjects, making him the overall top achiever for the DCS class of 2021. “It was through hard work and discipline I put into my studies, as well as the support that I received from my educators that I was able to obtain these extraordinary results,” said Faba, who is serving a 10-year sentence. KwaZulu-Natal clinched top position as the region with the best 2021 matric overall results.

Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Nkosi Phathekile Holomisa echoed Minister Lamola’ sentiments, that education is more than a tool for change, but an imperative in its own right, and that it can contribute positively towards reducing recidivism. He also advised that education should be more prioritised in DCS alongside security so that it can be more influential as part of standard operations that must be monitored and evaluated. “The 89.83% inmate matric pass rate for full time learners is an indication of a system that is capable of success,” he said.

DCS 2021 inmate matric top achievers are as follows:

  1. The Best Learner
Name and Surname Result Status Average Centre
1st. Khanyile Faba Bachelor Pass 88,71% Brandvlei Youth School
2nd. Sfundo Gumede Bachelor Pass 83,38% Usethubeni Youth School
3rd. Vuyo Daba Bachelor Pass 81,71% Brandvlei Youth School

  1. Minister’s Award
  • Awarded to Usethubeni Youth School for attaining 100% pass rate over the last 5 consecutive years with 10 or more learners.
  1. Region with the best overall results
  • 1st KwaZulu-Natal: 100% overall average pass rate with 23 learners.
  • 2nd Free State and Northern Cape: 100% overall average pass rate with 21 learners.
  • 3rd Western Cape: 94,74% overall average pass rate with 18 learners.

Following the formal proceedings, the principals embarked on a tour of the Barberton Correctional Centre, led by acting National Commissioner, Makgothi Thobakgable. They visited the orchard and the bakery, which supplies bread to both Barberton and Bethal management areas. This is in-line with the Self-Sufficiency and Sustainability Framework (SSSF) of the department, aimed at ensuring that correctional centres generate revenue and implement cost saving measures in production workshops, bakeries, agriculture, arts and crafts. During the tour, Minister Lamola commended Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West Regional Commissioner, Tlabo Thokolo for initiating cost saving measures.

The dignitaries concluded their visit by handing over a Tractor-Loader Backhoes (TLB) to Baberton Management Area to assist the management area to fully optimize its resources, including the utilisation of offender labour to realise the objectives of the SSSF.

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