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Prison education program empowers inmates for a brighter future

Prisoners in Hong Kong are seizing the opportunity to transform their lives through the higher education program provided by the Correctional Services Department.

One student, Alan, who is serving time for drug trafficking, achieved an impressive score of 96 out of 100 in his recent Mathematics exam. This breakthrough has had a profound impact on his academic journey. Alan is now a full-time student at the department's Ethics College, established last year to offer adults in custody a one-year full-time Diploma of Applied Education.

The goal is to equip them with the skills for a better future, instill positive values, and ultimately change their lives through education. Having struggled with self-study in the past, Alan now benefits from the guidance of dedicated teachers and supportive fellow students, which has significantly improved his learning and attitude.

The Assistant Officer overseeing discipline and studies at the college, I Or Siu-ming, has witnessed a remarkable transformation in Alan's academic performance and outlook. Inspired by his progress, Alan plans to continue his studies by pursuing an associate degree during the remaining four years of his sentence.

He aspires to secure a better career and make his parents proud. Another Ethics College student, Bella, who was also convicted of drug trafficking, did not complete her Secondary five education and feared limited job prospects upon release. The opportunity to return to school through the Ethics College has been life-changing for her. Bella receives extensive support for her studies, including visits and tutoring from volunteers during holidays and the ability to continue revision using a tablet in her dormitory.

The officers who care for the students create a nurturing environment, and Bella's hard work has also influenced her classmates to strive for success. With newfound confidence and a clear career goal, Bella plans to pursue further studies in animal-assisted therapy, a field she has developed a passion for.

The Ethics College launched in October with 75 students, 60 of whom are male and studying at Pak Sha Wan Correctional Institution, while the remaining 15 female students attend classes remotely at Lo Wu Correctional Institution.

Source: The Standard


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