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Kericho Annex GK Prison Ensures 100pc Secondary School Transition from Prison Primary School

Education is an effective form of rehabilitation for prisoners since it creates an avenue for the prisoners to turn their life around to become better citizens in their communities.

This was said by officer in charge of Kericho Annex GK Prison Senior Superintendent of Prisons Labantine Macoyamo who added that class eight dropouts who had fallen on the wrong side of the law and were imprisoned in the penal institution were being offered a chance to pursue both their primary and secondary school education from class 8 to form four.

He said this was in in line with the government’s programme started in 2018 aimed at ensuring that all class 8 candidates transit to secondary schools regardless of their performance at KCPE.

The prison currently has its own examination centre christened Kericho Prison 2 where inmates sitting for their class eight national examinations undertake their KCPE before proceeding for their secondary school education at the prison secondary school.

Macoyamo said the innovation was mooted in 2013 and has so far benefitted about 150 inmates since the inception of the pioneer prison class in 2014 and that last year alone, thirteen inmates sat for their KCPE at the prison examination centre.

The prisoners, all serving different sentences, attained a mean score of 252 with the leading candidate Gilbert Ngetich, 26 scoring a total of 318 marks.

In an interview with KNA, Deputy Officer in Charge who doubles up as the Principal of the Prison High School Superintendent Lennar Chepkirui said the penal institution started the prison secondary school on 27 April 2022.

“Education is an important tool of rehabilitation and reformation of prisoners that can change their behavior, character irrespective of their offences. It provides an avenue for a prisoner’s transformation to become better persons in their communities,” said Chepkirui.

She noted that currently, the penal secondary school has 13 inmates in their Form One class while those preparing to sit for their KCPE national examinations are nineteen at the prison primary school.

The prison secondary school has three graduate teachers who are prisoners with five teachers assisting in the learning activities for the inmates pursuing their secondary school education while behind bars.

“Challenges of insecurity and transporting the inmates from Kericho Medium prison to Kericho GK main prison for them to sit for their KCPE gave us the idea to start this facility and also for the prison candidates to feel they own their own facility as they pursue their education,” said the principal.

“Right now, we have three trained graduate teachers one who did Biology and Chemistry, the other graduate teacher did Maths and Physics and the other Maths and Business while the rest of the subjects I am handling with the help of five trained teachers,” she said.

Chepkirui said in the prison’s education programme, emphasis is given to life skills, and guidance and counseling has been initiated thus helping prisoners to choose their future careers. Prisoners are encouraged to embrace vocational training.

She appealed to well-wishers and people of good will to assist with learning materials required for smooth operations at the prison secondary school as well as funds to construct Form Two class for next year’s intake.

A form one prisoner Silas Kiprotich Kirui, 21, who sat for his class 8 exams in the prison primary school scoring 256 marks, is serving ten years imprisonment for the offence of causing grievous harm having been sentenced in 2021. He is happy that he is now a student at the Kericho Annex prison secondary school.

“I regretted wasting my life away by not going to school and now that I have an opportunity to pursue my high school education, I know I will pass my KCSE after attaining 256 marks in my KCPE which I sat in Kericho annex prison 2 examination center last year. I want to be a meteorologist,” said Kirui.

Inmate Paul Cheruiyot Kirui, 39, a grandfather of two children who is serving a three-year sentence for assault, an offence that sent him behind bars in January 2021, revealed that he sat for his KCSE in 1993 scoring D + grade and now wants to revisit his secondary school education and re-sit for KCSE national examination.  He advised learners in educational institutions to maintain good behaviour while pursuing their education.

The male prison facility established in 1965 currently holds over 400 Inmates who are serving prison sentences for various offences.

By Sarah Njagi

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