The Buea Central Prison recorded a 66.6% pass at the GCE Ordinary Level this year as six inmates, out of nine who registered, passed the 2020 exams.
Speaking to MMI, an inmate who preferred anonymity said it was very challenging studying in prison, with some of their teachers being inmates too. Some fellow inmates also doubted the prison education initiative and are only realising its reality now, he said.
The highest pass was recorded by Jones Nguma who had 10 Ordinary Level subjects. Others who followed him passed in nine subjects, some eight, with the least person having four Ordinary Level subjects.
“Nine people registered and six of them made it. Some of them were not taking it serious until now that the results are out. They have believed something was going on,” said a teacher of the inmates to MMI on the basis of anonymity.
He also lamented that the teachers in prison are hardly compensated for their efforts, and prison authorities care less about sharing with them what humanitarian organisations have been donating to support prison education.
The Buea Central Prison took students in just Ordinary Level GCE in both Arts and Science subjects, but given the lack of laboratories for some science subjects, only Biology, Human Biology and Mathematics were taken for science subjects, our source said.
He added that the six inmates who succeeded will continue to high school, though still behind bars, and more prisoners may join the education this academic year.
The education of the inmates is being sponsored by a non-governmental organization, Operation Total Impact.
GCE results were released on October 2 with Ordinary Level success rate rising from 62.15% in 2019 to 64.4% in 2020, while the percentage at the Advanced Level dropped from 78.36 percent in 2019 to 69.63 percent in 2020.
40,000 more candidates registered for the exams this year with a total of 154,148 candidates, compared to just 110,916 candidates last year, according to GCE Board Chair, Prof Ivo Leke Tambo.
Prof Tambo said this is “because parents and children have begun to appreciate the importance of education as before, many of them have abandoned false information that they get from the media. That is why we had an additional 40,000 students who sat for the exams”.
The 2020 session of the GCE was also innovated with newly added Technical and Vocational education fields which witnessed a 69.08% success at the Advanced Level and 64.4% success at Ordinary Level.
Mimi Mefo Info