Fact Check: No, prisoners don't have access to free higher education

Fact Check: No, prisoners don't have access to free higher education

Numerous citizens have taken to social media to denounce the perception that prisoners are afforded free education. Briefly.co.za explores the facts behind this claim, to determine what is truth and what is a simple misconception.

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School is back in session and between school fees and stationary parents around the nation are feeling the pinch.

Numerous social media posts have popped up, discussing education in the South African prison system.

Briefly.co.za explores the facts behind claims like the one below:

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According to the Department of Correctional Services free education is offered, but only to the youth:

"Free education, up to and including grade 12 (including N1-N3 business studies) is provided to all sentenced juveniles and also to adult learners where resources permit or education qualifications can be obtained by means of distance learning in the learners own time and at his/her own expense."

However, when it comes to Higher Education and Training (HET) inmates will have to foot the bill:

"All courses / subjects / study fields that fall in this band should be done through distance learning in the offenders own time and at his/her own expense and includes, diplomas, occupational certificates, first degrees, higher diplomas, professional qualifications, higher degrees, further research degrees and doctorates."

The department has indicated that the following citizens are 'target groups' for all education programmes:

  • Incarcerated Mothers with their children / Babies
  • Awaiting-Trial Detainees
  • Sentenced offenders:
  • Children (male and female) refers to a person under the age of 18 years
  • Youths (male and females)
  • Adults (male and females)
  • Physically challenged persons
  • The aged
  • Pre-releases
  • Parolees and Probationers

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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