Kampala- Prison inmates at the Luzira Maximum Security Prison, who sat for the 2018 Uganda Advanced Certificate of Examinations (UACE), have qualified for tertiary education.
Results released on Thursday saw 21 of the 30 candidates from the Luzira-based Upper Prison Inmates Secondary School excel with at least two principal passes that are required for one to join tertiary education.
Twelve candidates passed with one principal while two qualified with subsidiary passes and no failure registered.
Twenty-nine of the 30 were male and only one female, Evelyn Atimango, who qualified with subsidiaries.
The best student is Wasige Kulaira, a convicted prisoner who scored 17 points.
According to the results, four prisoners; Leuben Asiimwe, Geoffery Mawa, Amon Musimenta and Ogema Morish, each scored 12 points.
Officials at the Uganda Prisons Service attribute the better performance to discipline, which is a condition for joining education at prisons.
Mr Gilbert Nuwamanya, the head of Luzira Prisons Inmates Education Services, said the education programme has enabled many to become productive after prison life.
He revealed that 100 per cent of the students qualify for bachelor’s degrees, diplomas as well as certificates.
Currently, Mr Nuwamanya revealed that the prison students qualify for diplomas in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management offered by Nakawa based Makerere University Business School (Mubs) and certificates, while the University of London offers Bachelor’s Degrees in Law where eight students are currently on admission.
Other opportunities offered at Luzira prison are vocational skills training comprising of shoe making, tailoring, carpentry, printing, JIK and soap making.
Comparing 2017 with 2018 results, Mr Nuwamanya said there is big improvement in terms of performance given the increase in the number of prisoners who scored at least two principle passes.
The spokesperson of the Uganda Prisons, Mr Frank Baine, described the performance as an achievement in the rehabilitation process.
“Education is one of our rehabilitation programmes for prisoners. About 99 percent of prisoners who benefit from education in prison do not come back in form of re-offending,” Mr Baine said.
Mr Baine said having 16 people qualifying for university education amid the challenges that prisoners face is not a small success.