LITERACY

Boost as prisons receive computers to help increase literacy among inmates

The gadgets will facilitate online learning for inmates.

In Summary

•The gadgets will facilitate online learning for inmates.

•It will also address the knowledge and skill gaps in digital literacy that will benefit the inmates

Head of Stanbic Foundation Kenya Pauline Mbayah hands over a dummy cheque to Interior CAS Winnie Guchu as Florence Omundi, Senior Deputy Commissioner of Prisons at Kenya Prisons Services looks on September 13 at Prison Headquarters in Nairobi.
Head of Stanbic Foundation Kenya Pauline Mbayah hands over a dummy cheque to Interior CAS Winnie Guchu as Florence Omundi, Senior Deputy Commissioner of Prisons at Kenya Prisons Services looks on September 13 at Prison Headquarters in Nairobi.
Image: HANDOUT

More inmates will now be able to pursue education through online learning after the Kenya Prison Service received 20 computers to facilitate the process.

The Stanbic Foundation on Monday donated 20 computers and mattresses for the children daycare centre just a month after the launch of the project dubbed “effectiveness of online study desk prison education” that will ensure that prisoners intending to sit for Form Four examinations access virtual laboratories in six prisons across the country.

The gadgets will facilitate online learning for inmates and address the knowledge and skill gaps in digital literacy that will benefit the inmates by accessing content and further develop their skills.

Chief Administrative Secretary for the State Department of Correctional Services Winnie Guchu said the partnership would go a long way in ensuring the success of the prisons rehabilitation programmes.

The service is mandated, among other things, to also provide facilities for children aged four years and below accompanying their mothers to prisons.

“We recognise the enviable humanitarian act by the Stanbic bank that will be very helpful in augmenting the governments’ zealous effort in humane treatment of offenders, rehabilitation and integration of offenders back to the society,” she said.

She added that the computers will facilitate online learning hence addressing the knowledge and skills gaps in digital literacy.

“The children accompanying their mothers in prison are a vulnerable group that needs special attention which at times may not be forthcoming due to the nature of environment and the scarce resources,” she said.

Guchu added the mattresses donated will equip the children daycare centres in the women prisons across the country.

The bank through its women proposition, DADA and the Stanbic Foundation also joined hands with Population Services Kenya to provide health screening services to Kenya Prisons Staff.

“The initiative to carry out regular screening of staff is a welcome move as it will help in early detection of any disease hence presenting higher chances of survival especially for the life-threatening illness for instance Cancer,” the CAS said.

Prisons Commissioner General Wycliffe Ogallo said all the initiatives were geared towards rehabilitation of the offenders by offering them quality education

Already there are virtual laboratories in six prisons across the country after the service was issued with tablets loaded with revision materials which are also animated. These materials are loaded in the CDMA disabled tablets to ensure that inmates do not have access to the internet.The concept has offline interactive and animated materials of secondary school subjects including Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, following the 8.4.4 syllabus. There are also virtual laboratories for Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

The project is a tripartite collaboration between prisons, Mount Kenya University and the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO.

The research project will be carried out in the six maximum prisons including Naivasha, Nyeri, Langata Women, Kisumu, Kamiti and Shimo la Tewa.

According to Ogallo, the education was part of the rehabilitation programmes, adding that without proper rehabilitation, the prisoners risked getting caught up in a vicious cycle of reoffending, reconviction and social rejection.

“The last phase of the project will entail training of the inmate teachers, who scored C+ and above. Recidivism will reduce and once released the inmates will be engaged productively in the society,” Ogallo said.

 

Edited by CM