Three Inmates graduate from pioneering FCS Vocational Program

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Tuesday 21 July, 2020

The Fiji Correction Service today achieved another milestone in its rehabilitation efforts with the graduation of three serving prisoners from the Nasinu Vocational Training Centre.

The three prisoners have successfully completed and have graduated with a  Certificate in Automotive Mechanic Level 1 from the Nasinu Vocational Center. 

The school which is based at the Nasinu Corrections Centre delivers and awards qualifications under the Fiji Corrections Service Training Academy, which is also accredited and recognized under the Fiji Higher Education Commission.

The Chief Guest of the inaugural graduation ceremony was Mr Vincent Ochilet, the Head of Regional Delegation in the Pacific, International Congress of the Red Cross who shared that giving prisoners a qualification will give them the best chance or reintegration back into society.

“If detainees have a chance to increase their knowledge, to deepen pre-existing skills or learn new ones, and if what they have learned is recognized through official degrees, diplomas or certificates, they will have a chance to find employment after their release, to take care of themselves and their families and to successfully reintegrate into the society. If detainees do not have such opportunities, they are at risk of finding themselves unemployed and some may resort to reoffending,’’ Mr Ochillet said.

Commissioner of Corrections, Commander Francis Kean paid tribute to graduates Isimeli  Baleirotuma, Samuela Vakanananu and Opeti Korodrau for their hard work and commitment to the program in the past year.

“These three students have fulfilled all competency requirements of the National Certificate in Automotive Mechanic Level 1 and I thank them for their commitment and diligence to be able to complete this training program and graduate today,’’ Commander Kean said.

“We have met some challenges along the way, as we do with all pioneering programs but these three graduating is a sign of better things to come and for us in Corrections, saving one life is paramount. 

Commander Kean said that the program started with 20 prisoners however the numbers dropped due to very strict guidelines on discipline, a key component of the training program at the Vocational School.

“These are all part and parcel of their education and mostly their rehabilitation,’’ Commander Kean added.

Nasinu Correction Centre is dedicated for young first time offenders within the age group 18-25 years. The school was opened launched by the then Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary for Ed­u­ca­tion Ali­son Burchell who said it was im­por­tant for peo­ple to ac­knowl­edge that there was a need to keep chil­dren in the school­ing sys­tem. 

Commander Kean stated it’s about giving these kids another chance in life. It’s about teaching them how fish and to earn a decent wage in life upon their release from our care.

Commander Kean also confirmed that following courses will be delivered from August, Fitting and Machining plus Air Condition and Refrigeration.

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