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UFS Postgraduate student council’s community project a success
2016-03-03

Description: UFS Postgraduate council’s community project a success Tags: UFS Postgraduate council’s

Prof Jansen Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Dr Henriette van den Berg, Director of Postgraduate School, and Mr Gustav Wilson, Regional Head: Development and Care, Free State and Northern Cape Region.

The University of the Free State’s Postgraduate Student Council embarked on a courageous community engagement project for Mandela Day in 2015. The programme was aimed at assisting offenders at Tswelopele Correctional Centre pass their matric exams, thus granting them access to tertiary education.

The Postgraduate Student Council assisted the 2015 matriculants with study support, and motivated them during their final examinations in 2015. The council will play a bigger role this year by offering offenders at Tswelopele career advice and career guidance for when they leave the correctional facility, as well as study techniques to assist them throughout the year, to ensure a 100% pass mark in 2016.

Offenders who had participated in the Postgraduate Student Council project attended the Postgraduate School’s Open Day on 19 February.  Of the 12 offenders, 11 passed their matric exams, while one is currently busy with his supplementary exams. Tswelopele has a 92% pass rate; it is the best performing correctional centre in South Africa.

The Tswelopele Correctional Centre also serves as a full-time high school (Grade 10-12), and TVET College, assisting offenders to register for tertiary education through various universities.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of the Free State, said that he was immensely proud of the matriculants from Tswelopele Correctional Centre. He added that it is vital for every human being to receive a second chance. “Rehabilitation programmes are meant to give offenders a second chance at life, because we cannot give up on humanity. Correctional centres and rehabilitation centres are a societal responsibility. Society must not give up on offenders, everyone deserves a second chance, and we cannot give up on humanity.”

“To our offenders going through rehabilitation and all our young people who are our hope for the future of our beloved country, be encouraged. Dream again. Discover the wonder in your lives,” said Mr Gustav Wilson, Regional Head: Development and Care, Free State and Northern Cape Region.

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