A total of 60 prisoners were presented with academic certificates at a ceremony in Shek Pik Prison (SPP) today (November 25) in recognition of their academic achievements.
In the past year, 125 prisoners from SPP completed various courses and sat for 198 examination papers. Among the 133 papers passed, 17 were merit papers.
They sat for a variety of examinations on subjects such as languages, mathematics, business, information technology and accounting.
Those who received certificates today passed various examination papers of the Open University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority and the City & Guilds, and obtained a total of 12 distinctions and credits and 72 passes.
Presenting certificates to the prisoners, the Chairman of the Islands District Council, Mr Lam Wai-keung said, "Among the 300 or so prisoners serving sentences in SPP, more than 50 of them enrolled in various courses of the Open University of Hong Kong and other academic organisations. Today's ceremony not only shows the support of the Correctional Services Department (CSD) for you, but also represents the recognition that the community gives you."
He commended the department's effort to provide high quality custodial services and rehabilitative services. He also pointed out that CSD and the Islands District Council had always maintained good communication and close co-operation, and the relationship between the two parties would be closer in the days to come.
"CSD also provides financial assistance to inmates in need to enrol in open examinations and courses. Besides the Prisoners' Education Trust Fund, the New Life Foundation and Prisoners' Education Subsidy Fund were established this year with chartable donation, which greatly benefit rehabilitate offenders," Mr Lam said.
Mr Lam encouraged the prisoners not to give up when facing difficulties and to continue working hard towards their goal.
Also attending in the ceremony were representatives of community organisations and celebrities as well as the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Kwok Leung-ming.
As part of its continuous efforts to rehabilitate offenders, the department encourages adult offenders to pursue studies after their work. It provides assistance, through CSD staff and volunteers, to those who voluntarily participate in educational activities.
Ends/Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Issued at HKT 15:57
Officiating guest Mr Lam Wai-keung presents a certificate to a prisoner at the certificate presentation ceremony in Shek Pik Prison.
The Strivers Band, formed by prisoners of Shek Pik Prison, performs at the ceremony.