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783 inmateÔÇÖs enrolled in educational institutions

Mon, 1 August 2016 16:49
by Rodney Pienaar

Atotal of 783 inmates are currently enrolled at educational facilities to upgrade or further their studies while incarcerated at the Namibian Correctional Services (NCS).
According to the information gathered by The Villager, the state exempt’s inmates from paying fees to lower educational institutions they are enrolled in and only inmates enrolled at higher educational institution are to pay for required by the educational facilities.
The spokesperson of the NCS, Assistant Commissioner Ignatius Mainga explained that only tertiary courses are paid and that most inmates are enrolled for the English courses for 2016/17 academic year.
“The inmates are exempted from paying for English Skills program as well as admission to grade 10 and 12 Namcol courses. As for Tertiary studies, offenders are paying for themselves,” Mainga said.
2016/17 academic statistic indicates that 664 inmates enrolled for the English courses 49 for grade 10 classes, grade 12 (53) inmates enrolled and 17 inmates that enrolled for courses at tertiary institutions.
Windhoek CF Recorded eight inmates enrolled which topping the list of inmates that are enrolled at tertiary institutions, Hardap CF (3)
Inmates also receives  training in bricklaying, metal fabrication, cabinet making, motor mechanics, auto body works, as well as upholstery and tailoring as part of the  rehabilitation process.
For the financial year, 2015/2016 prisoners received materials to the tune of N$25 435 . The NCS operates as a trade account, which means that the surplus funds go to treasury.
 Prisoners provide what are called ‘Span (team) duties’ such as cleaning of government buildings and premises at no charge.
Inmates also receive receive on the job training, learning practical skills while executing jobs for the NCS, and the public The Villager learnt.
The Villager also reported that Prisoners also make grill doors, burglar bars, trailers, prison type doors, door frames, and window frames at the workshop that inmates are offered training in CF’s. The workshop activities accommodate upholstery for the repairing of furniture such as sofas and chairs.
Incarcerated Namibians have raked in N$1.6 million from the NCS industrial workshop through products and services provided to the public and government Offices, Ministries and Agencies (OMAs), in the previous financial year, prisoners generated N$1 633 570. 47 from the correctional services’ workshop.
 Annually, prisoners gulp large amounts of government revenue, the Ministry of Safety and Security’s budget motivation for this year shows. The training and development within the Ministry received a budget allocation of N$109 465 000, while coordination and support services within the Ministry received N$329 954 000. The safe custody and rehabilitation of prisoners received a budget allocation of N$640 123 000, while the reintegration of offenders received a budget allocation of N$11 292 000.
 Meanwhile, budget books show that non-tax revenue sourced from prisoners labour for the 2015/16 financial year is N$242 000. According to the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and the African Charter on Human Rights, prisoners are supposed to be provided with adequate food, water and electricity, clothing, open space and ventilation. However, the lack of funds does not allow the provision of this services, which in most cases results in legal action taken by the prisoners, the Ministry stated in budget books.
Of the incarcerated Namibians, several are enrolled at Triumphant College, University of Namibia, Intec College, Namibia University of Science and Technology, University of South Africa and Namibia College of Open Learning.
The correctional facility recorded that one of the inmates studying at UNAM graduated in April for a diploma in Entrepreneurship and New venture.
Only inmates incarcerated in the Windhoek and Hardap correction facilities are currently studying.