Education Can Unlock Criminals

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK Research has shown that controlling crime through education and training may be an effective and economical method of reducing relapse rates. This was said by the Deputy Minister of Safety and Security, Gabes Shihepo on Tuesday at a certificate handing-over ceremony for prison inmates from the Windhoek Central Prison. A total of fifty male and female prisoners were awarded certificates after successfully completing a two-month Live Wire Entrepreneurship Training Pro-gramme that was presented by the Polytechnic of Namibia. The course was financed by Shell Namibia. “I am convinced that this training programme will serve as one of the methods of preparing offenders to step back into their communities with a renewed sense of self-image and pride through their accomplishments here today. What you have been taught and you have gained should serve as your plan to stay clear from one of the stimulators of criminal activities, namely unemployment,” said the Commissioner of Prisons Everastus Shikongo on behalf of the deputy minister. The two-month business training programme covered business ideas, marketing, costing and pricing, customer service and drawing up business plans. “To become successful in life, you as inmates need to adapt and be guided by specific principles, which may include hard work, never giving up and having good knowledge of people you are dealing with and to respect them. What is required of you is a change of attitude and the use of imprisonment in a positive way through this business training pro-gramme,” the deputy minister advised and encouraged local businesses to support the group when they rejoin society. Shell Namibia’s commercial sales manager, Kosmos Damaseb, thanked the inmates for showing interest in the training programme. “This programme has been running for years offering opportunities for young disadvantaged persons through small business training. By doing this we aim to create, stimulate and nurture a Namibian entrepreneurial culture as part of development,” Damaseb, whose company financed the programme to the tune of N$80 000, said.