KwaZulu-Natal inmates achieve 98% matric pass rate

Westville Prison is one of the largest prisons in South Africa and the only prison located in the Durban area. Picture: ANA Photographers

Westville Prison is one of the largest prisons in South Africa and the only prison located in the Durban area. Picture: ANA Photographers

Published Jan 31, 2023


Durban — One unsuccessful inmate contributed to KwaZulu-Natal’s 98% matric pass rate for the National Senior Certificate for 2022.

KwaZulu-Natal Department of Correctional Services commissioner Mnikelwa Nxele said that their obligation in ensuring they prioritise youth development in their care had produced another full-time school. This school was praised during the national ceremony for achieving a 100% pass rate on its first enrolment for the National Senior Certificate, achieving 11 bachelor and seven diploma passes.

“The school I'm referring to is Sicebengolwazi Secondary School from Estcourt Correctional Facility under Ncome Management Area. Once again, we appreciate a good partnership from uThukela District inclusive of the circuit office for providing support at the school. May you continue to do as such so that lives for these offenders are inspired and become true law-abiding citizens once their sentences expire,” Nxele said.

He said that the region now possessed four full-time schools registered as stipulated in the South African Schools Act 84 of 1996, and he encouraged all management areas to strive to register full-time schools because success was inevitable.

He said that, as a region, they had registered 53 pupils who sat for the 2022 exams. Therefore, there had been an increase in their enrolment from 23 pupils registered in 2021 to 53 pupils registered for Grade 12 in the 2022 academic year, yielding an increase of 64.2%.

“Out of 53 learners who sat for their examination, only one learner was unsuccessful, which undesirably contributed to the region getting a 98% pass rate in the 2022 academic year, but with the kind of educators and support system we have, I am confident that we will as a collective retain our record,” Nxele said.

The region achieved the following:

  • 39 bachelor passes in 2022, which is an increase from 18 bachelor passes in 2021.
  • 13 diploma passes in 2022 from five diploma passes in 2021.
  • Their regional overall best-performing pupil was from Sicebengolwazi Secondary School (Mhlengi Chiliza) with an average achievement of 86.6%, an increase from 83.38 % average performance achieved in 2021.
  • The overall best-performing educator was Dludla VW from uSethubeni Youth School, who achieved an average of 92% pass in business studies
  • uSethubeni Youth School received the Minister’s Award for attaining a 100% pass rate consecutively over the past seven years.
  • uSethubeni Youth School made history by achieving a 100% bachelor pass for all its 20 pupils who sat for the exams.
  • The Educator’s Special Award for achieving a 100% pass rate consecutively from 2016 to date was awarded to Zondo TVL from Qalakabusha Secondary School in Empangeni.

KZN Education MEC Mbali Frazer said: “I know being locked up can’t be easy psychologically and emotionally, but having events like this one inspires all of us to always believe in ourselves, work hard and strive for success like our learners who are gathered here today. Congratulations to all of you for taking this giant step towards changing your lives.”

She said she wanted to reaffirm the government’s commitment to continue supporting the inmates’ academic endeavours until they complete their tertiary education.

She said they wanted a better life for inmates than a life of crime. They wanted them to go out there and make an honest living so that they did not end up back in prison.

Frazer said she was glad that the inmates had realised that for that to happen they needed an education.

“It is through the excellence of our matric class of 2022 that KwaZulu-Natal has been crowned the Best Performing Region and Best Improved Province in the country,” Frazer said.

“As the Department of Education in KZN we are very proud of the achievements of uSethubeni Youth and Qalakabusha Secondary for achieving a 100% pass rate year after year.

“The Sicebengolwazi Secondary had their first batch of matriculants last year and they all passed, giving us another 100% pass rate,” Frazer said.

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