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51 prison inmates sit for BECE nationwide



A total of fifty-one (51) prison inmates are taking part in this year’s ongoing Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), across the country, the Officer-in-Charge of Senior Cor­rectional Centre, Deputy Director of Prisons (DDP) Millicent Owusu, has said.

The inmates (candidates), all males, comprise twenty-six (26) from Senior Correctional Centre in Accra; nine from Nsawam Medium Security Prison in the Eastern Region; eight from Kumasi Central Prison; and four each from Sunyani Central Prison and Ankaful Maximum Prison respectively.

They were escorted by prison offi­cers to their various centers and back to the prisons after writing their first paper, Religious and Moral Educa­tion, and English Language.

DDP Millicent Owusu told the Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday that the inmates were between the ages of 13-18 years who were juve­nile offenders and 18-21 years young offenders.

She said the inmates were taken through intensive training by profes­sionally trained teachers of the Gha­na Prison Service (GPS) and some teachers from the Ghana Education Service (GES).

“The officers are always with them, teach them and meet them every morning to discuss past ques­tions and other things so that they will be abreast with what is happen­ing outside the world to enable them write the exams just as the ordinary candidates,” she added.

However, DDP Owusu said the only challenge faced were inadequate teaching and learning materials for the inmates to upgrade themselves, adding “Nonetheless, we sometimes solicit for fund from benevolent indi­viduals and organizations to assist in providing these modern equipment and materials like computers among others since the government could not do it alone.”

She said the government absorbed the registration fees of the inmates and after excelling in the BECE, they got enrolled into Senior High School programme, being organized by the GPS.

The Greater Accra Regional Public Relations Officer of the Prisons Service, Assistant Superintendent of Prisons (ASP) Loretta Valentina Amoah, said the Senior Correctional Centre, formally called the Ghana Borstal Institute was established in 1947 as a juvenile institution with the aim of preventing juvenile offenders from a wasted way of life.

She said initially, it was under the Department of Social Welfare until 1958 when the Ghana Prisons Service took over its administration, saying “Although it is under the GPS, its philosophy is different from adult prison, as its emphasis is on voca­tional training.”

ASP Amoah said the first batch that sat for the BECE exams in 2009 were 21 and since then they had recorded 100 percent in their performance every year.

Deputy Superintendent of Pris­ons (DSP), Bennette Quist-Ayiku, science teacher for the inmates, said their teaching were normally “team teaching” to assist each other if there was no teacher for a particular course.

He said even though, they some­times faced challenges with the inmates, they used their professional skills to guard and help them under­stand the course.

In an interview with some of the inmates (candi­dates) expressed satisfaction after the exams, saying it was “good and satisfactory.”

“I wish to be a mechanical engi­neer and I know I will pass these ex­ams to achieve my aim after I serve my two years sentence,” a unanimous juvenile who was sentenced for stealing and has since served eight months said.

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