Minister Michael Masutha on Back to School campaign in Vuwani

Torched schools in Vuwani benefit from Minister Masutha’s clean-up as part of the back to school campaign

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Adv. Michael Masutha joined parolees and probationers as part of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) Back to School campaign in Vuwani, Limpopo, today (19 January 2017).

The clean-up operations follow the destruction of school property in the area during the 2016 public protests. The beneficiaries include Vhafamadi Secondary School, Vhudzani Secondary School and Mphagame Primary School.

Minister Masutha, who was joined by Chief Tshivhangwaho Mashau and other traditional leaders, used the opportunity to encourage learners to focus on their education. Parolees, who live in the local communities, have been deployed to various schools to provide physical labour and technical skills.

This is part of their rehabilitation, as they give back to their communities by making a positive contribution.

Minister Masutha engaged both school learners and educators on the importance of working closely with correctional centres. This will assist them to understand the various programmes offered to offenders, which may also see them benefiting through offender labour.

The Minister further explained that offenders and parolees receive training in different skills as part of their rehabilitation programmes, and such skills make a difference when they embark on their second chance once released.

National Commissioner Zach Modise encouraged parolees to stay committed and be change agents in their communities, in order to break the cycle of crime.

Vhafamadi Secondary School, which was completely guttered to ashes, is now a fully functional school with a new set of classrooms. The school Principal assured Minister Masutha that they will achieve a 100% matric pass, which will surpass the 62% they achieved in the 2016 academic year. Correctional Services will re-work the courtyard and fence the school.

This initiative forms part of a nation-wide programme in the rehabilitation of inmates through offender labour, whereby offenders are given an opportunity to correct their wrongdoing by giving back to communities. Pupils from all three schools were further encouraged to focus on their studies, as education is useful ammunition to help South Africa become a better country.

In addition, Minister Masutha discouraged the ill-behaviour of people who burnt down schools. As Government, we will always ensure that children of this country receive better education to better their lives, said the Minister.

Source: Government of South Africa