30 Jun 2018 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 30 JUN (NAMPA) Despite having a shortfall of 49 educators the Department of Namibia Correctional Service (NCS) has enrolled 1225 inmates for the 2018 academic year in various educational programmes offered across Namibian prisons.
Of this figure, 580 inmates are enrolled in the functional literacy programme, 56 in computer literacy, 348 in the adult upper primary programme while 119 are enrolled with the Namibia College of Open Learning (Namcol) for Garde 10 subjects.
Meanwhile, 92 inmates enrolled with Namcol for Grade 12 while the remaining 30 are doing various tertiary education programme.
The statistics were disclosed by Safety and Security Minister, Charles Namoloh in the National Assembly recently.
He was responding to questions posed by Popular Democratic Movement (PDM)'s Elma Dienda.
Dienda wanted the minister to quantify the educational and upliftment programmes that are being offered to long serving prisoners.
The NCS, according to the minister, has a threefold approach to education for the offenders, namely functional literacy, educational upgrading programme and interest-based education activities.
The costs incurred, which entail human resources, technical expertise and study material for functional literacy and educational upgrading are the responsibility of safety ministry.
Interest-based education however, is the inmates responsibility in terms of financing.
According to information availed by Namoloh, 37 per cent of long-term inmates are illiterate while 63 per cent of the same had reached junior secondary education at the time of admission into correctional facilities.
Based on these statistics, the ministry has taken the stance that participation in education programmes for all illiterate inmates to be mandatory, said Namoloh.
This, according to the former army general, will assist the illiterate inmates to become functionally literate which will require adequate funding, human resources, books, stationaries and computers.
For instance, out 69 positions provided for on the ministrys NCS structure for education, only 18 are currently filled, a significant shortfall according Namoloh.
He adds that this is further exacerbated by the fact that only three correctional facilities, Windhoek, E Nepembe and Walvis Bay have functional libraries.
There is a need for these services to be strengthened, because library services are a vital requirement for effective learning, he noted.
As things stand, the ministry needs over N. dollars 24 million to upgrade NCS educational programmes to the required standards for the next five years, Namoloh concluded.