GWERU: Whawha Young Offenders Prison inmate Tatenda Kwangari is looking for sponsors so that he continues with his education after attaining five points during the 2019 November ZIMSEC ‘A’ Level examinations.
Speaking during an interview on the side-lines of a Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) media tour at the prison premises, Kwangwari who scored three points in Sociology and two points in History said furthering his studies has been hampered by lack of funds.
He has however applied for a degree in Sociology with the Midlands State University.
“I want to pursue education, because I think my strength is in academics.
“I have applied with MSU using a hard copy form because we do not have internet here so that I could apply online. We have sent the form physically and I am not sure if I will be successful as the response has taken long,” Kwangwari said.
He said he sat for the examinations with two other inmates, with one scoring eight points while the other scored four points. The other two have since left the prison after serving their sentences.
Kwangari also said they could have scored higher marks if they had enough reading material.
“The resources like textbooks were not enough otherwise we could have done better. I used a History ‘O’ Level textbook to prepare for the ‘A’ Level examination, while for Sociology I had one book,” he added.
Kwangwari who is left with 30 months from his 112 months for rape also supplemented seven ‘O’ Level subjects while in prison and passed.
Whawha Young Offenders education officer Champion Mbanje said the thrust of their prison is rehabilitation and they hope that Kwangari will be admitted by MSU so that he becomes an inspiration to other young inmates at the correction facility.
Mbanje said 30 students will sit for ‘O’ Levels, while 15 will sit for Grade seven this year among the 173 inmates who are doing their education from Grade 1 to Form 6 at the institution.
“Last year we had a student who scored four As at Ordinary Level from the nine subjects we do here,” Mbanje said.
Shortage of teachers is also a challenge at the prison as Mbanje highlighted that they have three teachers for primary school, while their secondary school has two teachers who conduct composite classes.
Whawha Young Offenders Prison officer-in-charge Chaminuka Mashuku further added that although the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services pays examination fees for inmates, it was not paying for all due to inadequate funds hence the need for partners to chip in.
Apart from academic, Mashuku said the prison teaches inmates fence making, agriculture, motor mechanics, welding and auto-engineering.