By Ntsebeng Motsoeli
MASERU — Crime Prevention, Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Ex-prisoners president, Nkalimeng Mothobi, has applauded the Lesotho Correctional Services (LCS) for introducing academic classes in the rehabilitation programmes.
Mothobi said they were impressed by news that about 10 detainees graduated from Juvenile Primary School in the 2013 Primary Leaving School Examinations (PLSE).
He said education was the best stepping stone that can be given to prisoners to be able to make better decisions when they complete their sentences.
“Education is the best rehabilitation you can give to prisoners. It opens their minds so that they are able to see other opportunities to life than crime,” Mothobi said.
Mothobi said he was one of the people who proposed that academic education be part of rehabilitation when he was serving a sentence.
“Many people were idling inside. I was fascinated by one inmate who was said to be mentally ill. He used to teach others to read and write. I consulted the authorities with a proposal to introduce school lessons on the inside,” he said.
His proposal got the thumbs-up and took off well, he said.
The LCS public relations officer, ‘Mateboho Ramphielo, said they were impressed by the performance of the detainees.
Ramphielo said 16 candidates had registered but four sat for examinations.
Two of the 10 that sat for the exams obtained a first class pass, one second class and seven got a third class pass. Two failed.
“The LCS is happy with the results. They are some of the good results our detainees, who are mostly in juvenile detention, have ever got,” Ramphielo said.
She said the LCS has made primary school compulsory for juveniles.
“The LCS is in support of government’s decision to make primary education compulsory for all children. So school is compulsory for all detainees aged 18 and below,” she said.
She said they believe their students will perform even better in the coming years now that the school has been registered with the education ministry to be a fully fledged primary school.