Female Prisons in the Western Region have participated in examinations in four subject areas of hair braiding, bead design, liquid soap and catering in the just-ended September 2016 edition of the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) Proficiency 1 examination.
The Church of Christ in Sekondi provided funds for the registration of the candidates that enabled them to write the test while the prison authorities organised classes for them in the different trades.
For security reasons, the prison authorities arranged for the candidates, some of whom were junior high school graduates and others who had not had any formal education, to write the examination within the prison house as a centre, where assessors/examiners from the NVTI came to supervise.
In the past, the prison authorities only offered training for the inmates but did not make arrangements for their participation in any organised written examination, and for that reason the inmates went back after serving their sentences without any certificate of recognition that could provide employment opportunities for them.
However, this time around if they are successful, they can use their certificates to look for gainful employment to enhance their living conditions after serving their respective sentences instead of staying idle to fall into temptation to commit further crimes.
The Superintendent (Supt) of Prisons, Hannah Hilda Ewoame, who briefed the Daily Graphic about the development, explained that volunteer resource persons usually came from outside to train some selected prison officers who in turn trained some selected prisoners who are serving various sentences, ranging from the lowest term of one to 20 years.
“We have given them training all these years in various handicrafts but they go back without certificates. The time has now come for us to train them and organise proper examination for them. Our aim is to get them certificates which they can use to look for employment,” Supt Ewoame further explained.
She indicated that once they were gainfully employed, they could take very good care of themselves and their families, adding that now that they have the technical know-how, they could also train other unemployed persons in their immediate society to acquire skills.
Supt Ewoame, however, noted that the execution of the programme was fraught with a number of challenges, particularly financial support, pointing out that since the training and final examination were practical-based “we need money for raw materials for practicals, equipment and ingredients for the handiwork”.
She, therefore, appealed for support from individuals and corporate organisations.
Source: Daily Graphic