Boost for Female Wards Preparing for CSEC Exams

Story Highlights

  • Female wards at the Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre in Kingston who are preparing for Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations have been given a boost though the donation of eight desktop computers to the facility.
  • Several of the young ladies are slated to sit the Electronic Document Preparation and Management (EDPM) tests on May 7.
  • State Minister for National Security, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, in his remarks at the handover ceremony at Fort Augusta’s South Camp Road location on Tuesday (May 1) expressed confidence that the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) and the wards will make good use of the equipment.

Female wards at the Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre in Kingston who are preparing for Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations have been given a boost though the donation of eight desktop computers to the facility.

Several of the young ladies are slated to sit the Electronic Document Preparation and Management (EDPM) tests on May 7.

Four of the computers were provided by the Ministry of National Security and another four by the Stella Maris Church Prison Ministry. They bring to 11, the total number of computers at the facility.

State Minister for National Security, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, in his remarks at the handover ceremony at Fort Augusta’s South Camp Road location on Tuesday (May 1) expressed confidence that the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) and the wards will make good use of the equipment.

He noted that the donation is in keeping with the Government’s investment in the education and training of inmates as part of the rehabilitation process.

“According to (a report) from the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), between 2013 and 2016, 70 per cent of those incarcerated were either illiterate or poor readers upon admission. This situation cannot stand,” he said.

“We must ensure that inmates are equipped to make different choices when they leave our institutions. We want you to become contributing members of society. We want and expect that those released become law-abiding and contributing members of our communities,” he added.

Commissioner of Corrections, Ina Hunter, said the donation is timely and will improve the young ladies’ chances of success in their exams.

She said that the department is committed to enhancing the rehabilitation process.

“We recognise the value of technology to equip our inmates with skills and abilities to lead productive lives not only when they are released but also while they are here. Education forms the core of our rehabilitation, and we are always looking at ways to improve the delivery of our programmes,” she said.

Kelly*, who is among the wards preparing for the EDPM examination, expressed gratitude for the donation.

“This is a subject that covers numerous topics like introduction to computing, ergonomics, and it is similar to Information Technology (IT). It has taught us a lot. There were persons who were not exposed to computers before, and in today’s society, you need to be computer literate, as everything now entails computer skills,” she pointed out.

“We are grateful for this tremendous opportunity. We are cognisant of the fact that this is part of the rehabilitation programme and the onus is now on us to do the best that we can, so that when we get back out there, we will be better persons and citizens in our community. Thank you again for making this possible,” she expressed.

Coordinator of the Stella Maris Church Prison Ministry, Pat Lewis said the church has remained a committed partner of the DCS since it commenced its prison outreach in June 1999, providing assistance to inmates in the form of monthly care packages, motivational talks and worship.

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