Johannesburg - Deputy Correctional Services Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi is impressed with the high number of prisoners who enrolled for matric last year.

“The number of students registering to write matric examinations increased from 27 to 140 since 1994, with a major increase of 67 percent in 2013 alone,” he said, a Sapa correspondent reported on Sunday.

“We have more than doubled the number of students passing their matriculation examination with university admission certificates from 14 in 2012 to 30 in 2013.”

Ramatlhodi said the overall pass rate was 59 percent for 2013, with 67 of the 114 candidates who eventually sat for their exams, passing. A total of 140 initially applied to write matric.

“You can see from their pass rate that they were not forced to learn; instead they chose to do so while serving their sentences,” he said.

The results for matric inmates were released this week, along with those of the rest of the country.

The top performer among the prison learning centres was the Umlalati Learning Centre in Barberton, which topped all prison centres in the country with a 100 percent pass rate. Barberton had an average subject performance rate of 54.9 percent.

Inmates across the country got a total of 60 distinctions. Fifty-three distinctions were from Usethubeni Youth Centre in Durban, four from Johannesburg Medium C and three from Vuselela Learning Centre in North West.

The top prison performers were Thabo Mohlanga, who got a 80.5

percent average, Musa Cele with 79.3 percent, Senzo Khanyezi and Lonwabo Mhlanga, who both got 76.4 percent, and Celumusa Mhlongo who got a 77 percent average.

Clive Nkosi, 31, who was convicted of rape in 2005, and who passed his matric, said: “Having other inmates who were also committed to their studies in prison made me succeed. I am planning to do accounting science to be a better person when going out.” -Sapa