Inmates in Yambio get new school

25 Feb 2014

Inmates in Yambio get new school

24 February 2014 - Young inmates in Yambio Central Prison, Western Equatoria State, hailed UNMISS Corrections Advisors today for establishing a school so they can continue their education in jail.

“Young juveniles can’t just be locked up in prison,” said UNMISS Corrections Advisor Mouli Adedevo. “South Sudan needs educated people.”

Mr. Adedevo said the idea to set up the school six months ago came up after the Corrections Advisory Service in the state and their local partners realized that most of the inmates were young people.

After a decision was taken to ensure that part of their rehabilitation would be through education, he said the prison’s administration approved the initiative to set up seven classrooms.

Non-governmental organizations in the state supported the partners by providing chalk and exercise books, Mr. Adedevo added.

One inmate, David Akol, was grateful the school had allowed him to sit for the just concluded Primary Leaving Examinations.

“I managed to sit for PLE through the help of the prison authorities and UNMISS and I passed well,” he said.

Mr. Akol said education was vital, even for those serving their sentences. He quoted State Governor Colonel Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro, who continually emphasizes the importance of education to communities in his state.

The school head teacher, Liberian national Michael Johnson, is also an inmate. Mr. Johnson said his status as a foreign prisoner had not stopped him from teaching more than 40 fellow prisoners, and he had enjoyed contributing.

Yambio Central Prison Director Zacharia Yak said inmates would also take up vocational projects in carpentry, farming and masonry as part of efforts to transform them into good citizens.