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Prisoners Pass the Test

(R) Prison educator Elaine Golding assists student inmates.

Two dozen prisoners are eagerly awaiting a special Christmas present in the form of results of the external City and Guilds (C&G) vocational exams, which they sat last week.

This development is a result of the acceptance of Her Majesty's Cayman Islands Prison Service as an approved City and Guilds Examination Centre. Examinations were sat in October, and then December.

City and Guilds is the leading provider of vocational qualifications in the United Kingdom. It serves a wide range of industries, from entry-level to the highest levels of professional achievement. It is recognized by employers worldwide and has Examination Centers in over 100 countries.

Congratulating the prisoners as well as the Education Unit, the Prison Director said, "The October exam results were especially encouraging. Seven prisoners gained First-Class passes in spreadsheet processing techniques, while eight were successful in the English for office skills examination - with two gaining First-Class passes."

Noting that the information technology-related areas such as spreadsheets are most popular, the Prison Director added, "Having certificates from a recognised body should benefit these prisoners, especially in their quest for employment after release."

The Prison Director noted that the local C&G accreditation followed a rigorous process, which included City & Guild officials examining the prison's education programme and visiting to inspect the facilities.

Since May 2009, some 60 prisoners have sat examinations in subjects such as numeracy, spreadsheet, word-processing, English for business communications, and English for office skills.

Mr. Franz Manderson, Chief Officer in the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs stated, "The Portfolio and the government remains committed to reducing recidivism through robust rehabilitation programmes, and I congratulate these prisoners for working hard towards becoming productive citizens upon their release from prison."

The Prison Director added that prisoners of both Northward and Fairbanks Prison are able to take advantage of this opportunity. "The prison service has long-included education, especially improving basic literacy and numeracy skills, as part of our rehabilitation efforts. However, the new accreditation is a bonus to the programme," said Mr. Scott.

There are over 200 male and female prisoners in the Cayman Islands prison system.

(GIS)

For further information contact: Lennon Christian