More than 95% of prisoners qualify for A-Level

Saturday February 2 2019

Inmates at Luzira Upper Prison celebrate UCE

Inmates at Luzira Upper Prison celebrate UCE results in 2017. File photo 


Kampala. More than 95 per cent of Luzira Prison inmates who sat for last year’s Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) examinations have qualified for advanced level education and other vocational training.
According to the Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) results released yesterday, 38 out of the 43 inmates who sat for the examinations at Upper Prison Inmates Secondary School passed between Division Two and Division Four.
Seven candidates passed in Division Two; 20 in Division Three; 11 in Division Four while one candidate passed in Division Seven. Three did not attain any grade because they were absent. Four of the candidates were female.
Tom Kitutu, a murder convict, who is serving a 30-year sentence, emerged the best with aggregate 36.
The jubilant Kitutu, 30, said he had dropped out of school in Senior Two but said he wants to join A-Level and pursue his dream of becoming a lawyer.
“When I came here, I realised the need for education and I was attracted by friends and now I see education as the only way to add value to my life in prison and after,” said Kitutu commending prison authorities and fellow prisoners for the support.
According to Kitutu, the challenges met while studying helped him to see opportunity: “I look at the ultimate goal in this because we have models here especially those who studied while in prison and they are doing well after serving their punishment.”
Kitutu and six others passed in Division Two to emerge the best students. Among those who sat for UCE examinations was 60-year-old Ezra Turyahebwa who studied from prison since Primary Four.
Turyahebwa scored aggregate 46 in UCE but in Primary Seven he got 21.
The school head teacher, Mr Gilbert Nuwamanya described the 2018 performance as ‘good’ and commended the candidates for the discipline exhibited during the year. He is optimistic that they will perform better in the next level.
“We did not get first grades last year because 2018 was disorganised with court processes, especially the court of Appeal sessions in Masaka, Mbarara and Arua. Our candidates were confused because they were struggling to ensure that they appear on the cause-list and others were in Court hence losing concentration,” said Mr Nuwamanya.
Mr Nuwamanya revealed that the inmates performed well in History, Geography and Commerce while Physics and Mathematics were poorly done.
In 2017, there were 40 candidates out of which three passed in Division One; 10 in Division Two; 10 Division Three while 26 passed in Division Four.
Mr Frank Baine, the Prison spokesperson, described the performance as ‘an improvement’ saying education in prisons seeks to increase the level of rehabilitation thereby reducing crime rates in the country.