Saturday 20 October, 2018

Security Ministry initiative to get HEART certification for inmates

The Ministry of National Security is taking steps towards providing inmates at the island’s four correctional intuitions with literacy and numeracy training, which should see them receiving High School Diploma Equivalency certification from the HEART Trust/NTA.

The High School Diploma Equivalency Programme (HSDE) is a joint initiative between the ministry and the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning/HEART Trust/NTA, which is aimed at equipping the more than 400 inmates involved with the tools to achieve their personal, academic and professional goals.

The HSDE programme is comprised of 11 modules, at the basic, intermediate and proficiency levels.  While the basic level is equivalent to Grades 1 to 6 of primary education, thereby providing inmates with competencies in such areas as mathematics, English language, life skills and information technology, the proficiency level is aligned to Grades 10 to 11, which is guided by the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) syllabus. Learners are expected to complete five subjects: mathematics, English language, social studies, information technology and human and social biology.

Speaking at the launch ceremony at the Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre on Wednesday, State Minister for National Security, Senator Pearnel Charles Jr. said the partnership evolved as a means of moving beyond skills training, to credible certification to further inmates for employment and successful reintegration into the society.

“Rehabilitation and redemption is one of the fundamental pillars of this ministry.  Our goal is to prevent re-offending. So, by providing the inmates with credible certification, we are giving them the tools they need to make something of their lives when they leave the institutions.” said Senator Charles.

Project Manager in the Ministry of National Security, Dr. Marc Thomas, expressed gratitude to Rhoda Crawford, the Director-Education Services at JFLL, and the entire team at the HEART Trust/NTA, whom he said responded appropriately to the knowledge that the majority of the inmates are somewhat illiterate.

He said JFLL has provided the human resource to help to provide the necessary training. He said the initiative will allow a significantly larger number of inmates than before, to be literate by the time they are released, which adds to the likelihood of their successful reintegrating into the society.