In an effort to provide quality education to inmates at Chichiri prison in Blantyre, 12 teachers from Zingwangwa Secondary School (ZGSS) are voluntarily offering lessons to over 100 inmates at the prison.
Speaking in an interview Monday, ZGSS headteacher Steve Kungala said the initiative started last September after noticing that the inmates lacked qualified teachers.
“We discussed with prison authorities and the teachers have been going there from Monday to Thursday[every week]. As you are aware, Zingwangwa secondary school operates on double shifts, the teachers go there when they are off- duty at the school,” said Kungala.
He commended the teachers for offering themselves to the noble service saying it will go a long way in reforming the prisoners.
“Prisons are not there to punish people but help them to reform into useful citizens. We know education is one key element to achieving that,” he said.
Kungala further said in appreciation, the inmates are offering free services to the school which include cleaning and landscaping.
Malawi Prison Services spokesperson Smart Maliro said the input of such teachers is likely to improve quality of education in prison leading to improved results in national examinations.
He said this will eventually contribute to the MPS’s efforts in making inmates useful citizens in the country upon expiry of their sentences and reintegration in their respective communities.
According to Maliro, this year, the highest scoring inmate in the Malawi School Certificate of Education(MSCE) examinations was from Maula prison who scored 12 points, one inmate got 11 points in 2013 and another 12 points in 2014.
He said since the Malawi prison services education sector was established in 2002, about 30 inmates have been enrolled in the country’s public universities.
He said once inmates qualify for public universities, their spaces are reserved until their release.