Prison education programme excels

Two dozen prisoners are eagerly awaiting a special Christmas present in the form of results of the external City and Guilds vocational exams, which they sat last week.

This development is a result of the acceptance of Her Majesty’s Cayman Islands Prison Service as am approved City and Guilds Examination Centre.

Examinations were sat in October, and then December.

City and Guilds, among the leading provider of vocational qualifications in the United Kingdom, serves a wide range of industries, from entry level to the highest levels of professional achievement.

It is recognised by employers worldwide and has examination centres in over 100 countries.

Congratulating the prisoners, as well as the Education Unit, Prison Director Dwight Scott said, “The October exam results were especially encouraging.

Seven prisoners gained First-Class passes in spreadsheet processing techniques, while eight were successful in the English for office skills examination – with two gaining Fist-Class passes.”

Noting that information technology related areas such as spreadsheets are most popular, the prison director added, “Having certificates from a recognised body should benefit these prisoners, especially in their quest for employment after release.”

He noted that the local City and Guilds accreditation followed a rigorous process, which included City and Guilds officials examining the prison’s education programme and visiting to inspect 
the facilities.

Since May 2009, some 60 prisoners have sat examinations in subjects such as numeracy, spreadsheet, word-processing, English for business communications and English for office skills.

Franz Manderson, chief officer in the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs, stated, “The Portfolio and the government remains committed to reducing recidivism through robust rehabilitation programmes, and I congratulate these prisoners for working hard toward becoming productive citizens upon their release.”

The director of the prison added that the prisoners of both Northward and Fairbanks prisons are able to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in the courses.

“The prison service has long included education, especially improving basic literacy and numeracy skills, as part of our rehabilitation efforts. However, the new accreditation programme is a bonus,” said Mr. Scott.

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