Kerry J. Wilson proudly displays the trophies he has won for his singing ability. Photo Today / Milton Pieters
St. Maarten News – According to a ancient Chinese philosopher Laozi, “a journey of a thousand miles starts under one’s feet,” but for the 36 inmates at the Point Blanche Prison, their first steps in the right direction materialized after they were presented with certificates at the annual General Education Development (GED) graduation ceremony yesterday.
The transition from inmate to graduate was certainly a sign of the willingness of those involved in the program to elevate themselves academically, a move that was designed to prepare them for the reintegration into society after the conclusion of their sentences.
The GED program began in 2009 and was designed to give those who were incarcerated another chance to adopt a more positive lifestyle under the guidance of an experienced group.
After an intense period, the graduates are now more proficient in subjects like English, Dutch, mathematics, computer science, Microsoft word, music and mechanical skills.
That external instructors included Elfreda Lake, Edward Hollis, Oswald Francis, Joan Sharplis, Vernon Illidge, Sheena Romney; internal instructors are Leo de Windt, Les Brown and David Harris along with the invaluable assistance from the mentors H.A. Concincion, S. Williams and S. Janga.
“I have a long history in education and as I walked in here, I heard my name being called and that alone gives me a pleasure for being here. I believe that everyone can learn and it does not matter which environment you are in. For every environment you are in, you must make the best of it,” said Yvette Halley, Head of the Division of exams speaking on behalf of Education-Minister Silveria Jacobs who was unable to attend.
“To have 36 inmates graduating is history on St Maarten despite the fact that you are graduating in different areas. The GED is an important exam because it gives you a high school diploma and I am more happy to hear that,” Halley said. “I believe that everyone was born with a gift, but we don’t need every body to be doctors and lawyers, we also need skilled people that can get the job done, more technical people in our community.”
Source: Today SXM From inmates to graduates