Picture: Sne Masuku

The Grade 12 prisoners at Westville prisoners who sat down for the last National Senior Certificate exam on Tuesday said they were optimistic about the future ahead. 

Although currently behind bars, they said they have a bright future ahead of them. 

The final paper (English Paper 3), taken by 23 candidates, was off to a smooth start, commencing on time.

Speaking to the Daily News during KZN Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu's visit, excited matric candidates said they were ready for their final exam.

In total, 42 inmates wrote exams in the province. 

Mshengu motivated the inmates to aim high and take advantage to the opportunity afforded to them by both the department of education  and the government. 

KZN Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu addresses the media during a visit to Westville prison where inmates were writing their last exam. Video: Sne Masuku/Daily News.

He encouraged them to aim at achieve the best result and aim at maintaining the 100% pass rate for the fourth year in a row. 

"Prepare yourself for a life after prison and equip yourselves for a bright future outside. The world out there requires you to have the right skills so that you can have a bright future. We are proud of you and we know that you're going to make us proud," said Mshengu. 

Mshengu also used the opportunity to meet with other students doing lower grades at Medium B section of the prison. 

Excited inmates told the Daily News that they were grateful for the opportunity to study. 

Some said they had dropped out of school and got involved in crime and were now regretting their bad choices, hence their decision to go back to school.

Siphesihle Latha, 23, said he was excited to be writing the last paper and could not wait to enroll for a bachelor of commerce next year.

Latga said he wants to become to become a chattered accountant.

"I was arrested for business robbery and have spent 6 years in prison. I am going to be released next year. I cannot wait to get out and start my life on a new slate," said Latha.

Daily News