The Westville Correctional Services in Durban celebrated its top five inmates who passed with flying colours despite the hardship of imprisonment and Covid-19 challenges.
The awards ceremony was held virtually by the Department of Education on Friday, January 21.
The top two matric students attended the Usethubeni Youth School in the Pinetown district and the other three matric students attended Qalakabusha adult learning centre.
The principal of the school, Nelly Mkhize, who was not entirely happy with the results, said that the pupils were capable of achieving more but due to Covid-19 it didn’t happen.
“They were supposed to get eight distinctions but due to the challenges brought forward by the pandemic, my students lost so much learning time since Grade 11 and we couldn’t catch up or cover everything in the curriculum and also since they are in this prison environment, the department doesn’t understand anything about the curriculum, hence my students didn't even get extra classes to cover for the lost time,” said Mkhize
The top learner achiever, Sfundo Gumede (24), who has served four years of his sentence, achieved six distinctions. While he was not satisfied with the results he is looking forward to studying teaching and measure in Mathematics.
Second top learner, Njabulo Gwala (21), who also has served four years of his sentence was happy with his results and said he achieved good marks through hard work.
“The support here and the teachers’ motivations gave us strength to be where we are today. I am more focused here in prison and I hope to come out as a better person one day. I am looking forward to studying teaching at UNISA,“ he said.
One of the adult learning centre top achievers, Zakhele Mcoyi (36), also made it to the list of the top achievers at King Cetshwayo District.
The top achievers were awarded with their certificates and prizes of laptops.