World Book Day: Promoting reading and learning amongst inmates
More than 50 Book Clubs have been established in correctional centres across the country, to promote a culture of reading, and writing, amongst inmates.
This was announced today (22 April 2015) by Acting National Commissioner of the Department of Correctional Services Mr. ZI Modise, as part of the 2015 World Book Day National Celebration in South Africa. The first day of the celebration concluded at the Krugersdorp Correctional Centre this afternoon (22 April), where the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture Ms. Rejoice Mabudafhasi, together with the Executive Head of the Centre for the Book Mr. Mandla Matyumza, donated books to inmates.
Mr. Modise said that reading provides invaluable benefits for rehabilitation. “On behalf of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), I wish to express our sincere gratitude to the Department of Arts and Culture, and the Centre for the Book, for their wonderful gesture of paying attention to those most in need, and vulnerable, in our society. Your inclusion of inmates, in your prioritisation of people to be served with appropriately resourced libraries, is an embodiment of the ideals that the founding father of our democracy, the late President Nelson Mandela, stood, and died, for. It was President Mandela who said that the quality of our development as a nation should be measured by how we treat the weakest, and most vulnerable, in our midst, including women, children and offenders.
“Currently, more than 50 Book Clubs have been established in correctional centres across South Africa and educators have been assigned to provide opportunities for 2,150 offenders in writing, publishing, reading, reviewing and providing analysis of books. We are working on broadening access for more offenders, as many of them are also learners at our 14 full-time correctional centre schools. From 1st to 7th September 2015, during International Library Month, the five best book clubs in each of the six DCS Regions will compete against each other at the Regional Funda Mzantsi Championships.
The National Funda Mzantsi Championships is scheduled take place from 5th to 7th October 2015 in Cape Town, hosted by the Centre for the Book. The Funda Mzantsi programme also enhances the language skills of offenders’, as well as their examination results. More offenders are being encouraged, and inspired, to also write books, with invaluable benefits to their rehabilitation, and preparedness, for social reintegration.
“I am proud of the partnership we have established between Arts and Culture, the Center for the Book and Correctional Services. Since we signed a Memorandum of Understanding for heightened collaboration, we have continued to see tangible results that make a difference where it matters most – improving the lives of the neediest in our society, including offenders, in a manner that effectively breaks the cycle of violence and crime. We are on course to build an institution that instills, among offenders as well as officials, a lifelong reading, and learning, culture. We urge other institutions of state, labour, the private sector and ordinary citizens, to put their hands on deck, and to push the transformation, and development, of our correctional system,” Mr. Modise said.
Deputy Commissioner of Communications
Tel: 012 3072672
Cell: 076 062 2180
SOURCE: South African Official News