Prison residents gain more subject passes due to officers’ encouragement

(Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris has expressed his delight in the efforts being made to meaningfully rehabilitate inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison, by way of furthering their education while incarcerated.

Speaking at the first-ever H M Prison Officers’ Awards Service on Sunday, April 30th 2017 at the Immanuel Methodist Church in Sandy Point, Prime Minister Harris noted that there has been a significant increase over the past couple of years in the number of CSEC/CXC and CAPE subject passes attained by inmates.

Data from the years 2012 to 2017, which were provided by H.M. Prison, show that, in 2012, three residents sat exams in Accounts and English and attained a total of five subject passes; in 2013, 13 residents sat exams in Accounts, English and Mathematics and attained a total of 17 subject passes. In 2014, 17 residents sat exams in Accounts, English, Mathematics and Human & Social Biology and attained a total of 16 subject passes. That’s a total of 38 subject passes between 2012 and 2014.

In 2015, 23 residents sat exams in Spanish, Accounts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Principles of Business, Economics and Human & Social Biology and attained a total of 43 subject passes. In 2016, 16 inmates sat exams and returned a total of 33 subject passes in Biology, Integrated Science, Physics, Mathematics, Caribbean Studies, Communication Studies and Integrated Mathematics. So far this year, two residents sat Social Studies and Principles of Business and attained a total of two subject passes. That’s a total of 78 subject passes between 2015 and 2017.

Responding to the data, Prime Minister Harris said: “They must all be congratulated, and so should all of you (prison officers) for your contribution to their success. These inmates will leave more able to engage in the field of work.”

In an interview with the Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister on Friday, April 28th, Superintendent of Prisons, Junie Hodge said officers regularly encourage inmates to take up classes and further their education.

“There are one or two prison residents who have done so well that they too are giving back, because they are helping some of the officers to prepare for their CXC exams as well,” Superintendent Hodge stated.

Vincent Fahie, a resident at Her Majesty’s Prison, is currently pursuing four A-level CAPE subjects in Management of Business Unit 1, Management of Business Unit 2, Pure Mathematics Unit 1 and Economics Unit 1.

Speaking with the Press Unit earlier today, Fahie said the officers play a crucial role in ensuring the continuance of the remedial and educational programs at Her Majesty’s Prison. He added, “It’s through them (prison officers) why everything here is possible. Right now, for instance, we don’t have an area to keep classes, so the officers allow us to use their space where they keep meetings. So I want to thank them for working with us over the years and for continuing the program and for assisting us in anyway possible.”

The Prison Superintendent also elaborated on the existence of a program within the prison where residents provide extra tutoring and homework assistance to fellow residents’ children, who are in high school and CFBC and are about to sit their exams.

Hodge also revealed that there is a program “where the residents would journey to the Old Boys’ School to assist students of the high schools in preparation for their exams, and the officers also encourage the residents in this endeavour.”

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