Motivating SPM exam inmates
Published on: Thursday, October 18, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Seven young prison inmates who will be sitting for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination this year received some timely motivation from their parents and teachers during a ceremony at the Prisons Department in Kepayan, here, Wednesday.The programme called "Majlis Restu Ilmu" held at the department's Integrity School encouraged family members to support and engage with their children in a positive way.

They gathered outside the premises and were accompanied by Prisons officials into the school premises at about 8am, where they were given the chance to give blessings to their children who will be sitting for the national examination.

Among those invited was Hassan (not his real name) who was released on parole this year after serving two years in prison for unlawful possession of a firearm.

In 2016, he sat for SPM while serving time in prison and scored 1B+, 2Bs, 1C+, 1C and 1E, which eventually landed him a spot at a higher learning institution where he is now undertaking Diploma in Mechanical Engineering.

"Serving time in prison is not the end of the world as every inmate is given the opportunity to pursue academic qualification even up to the higher learning level," he said.

The 21-year-old who was invited to give a talk reminded the other inmates who will be sitting for the SPM next month that it was not too late to start fresh and encouraged them to do their best in the examination.

"Education is important to change one's life, take advantage of the opportunity given to you to pursue your studies," he said.

Meanwhile, it was an emotional moment for 20-year-old Ahmad (not his real name) to see his mother and family come all the way from Semporna to support him.

Serving close to two years for rape, he will be sitting for SPM with hopes of scoring 5As.

"I regret my mistakes, I am happy they came. I am blessed to have them still with me, I want to turn over a new leaf and be someone they can be proud of someday," he said.

The ceremony was officiated by Kota Kinabalu Central Prisons Department Director Zulkifli Abdul Manah who was happy with the turnout.

"It is good to see families coming to support and encourage their children to turn over a new leaf," he said.

He also applauded the Integrity School's teachers for the dedication and commitment in guiding the youngsters.

On another note, he said it was the department's target to ensure that this year there will be SPM candidates from the Integrity School who will continue their studies at higher learning institutions.

He said the school has produced several graduates currently studying in institutions such as one in Polytechnic, four at the Open University Malaysia, one in the Industrial Training Institute and two at the Kolej Teknikal Yayasan Sabah.

"In fact, the success of our former students is the result of a successful recovery through education in prison.

"This is in line with the mission and vision of the Prisons Department to provide rehabilitation and productive inmates.

"We believe, through education, they will be able to build a better future for the nation's development," he said.

He said in addition, education in prisons is also a form of therapy and can provide conviction indirectly reducing prison recidivist.

He expressed hope for all their SPM candidates this year to work harder to achieve excellence and make their family proud.

"Remember that success will not come rolling without serious and continuous effort," he said.


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