The provision and management of prison education: context and challenges.
Mumba, Lumpuma Hank
MetadataShow full item record
This study focused on the provision and management of prison education by the Zambia Correctional Service (ZCS) at Mukobeko Medium Security Correctional Facility in Kabwe. The objectives of the study were to examine the type(s) of prison education provided, establish how the education in prison was managed, ascertain the opportunities and challenges faced and to recommend appropriate actions that would help resolve some of the challenges so as to effectively empower the inmates. The sample size for this research included two (2) officers from the Zambia Correctional Service, five (5) individual prison inmates, two (2) focus groups (with five inmates in each) and seven (7) tutors, thus, a total of sixteen (16) sample elements. Descriptive survey design was used in the research and data collection was triangulated using interviews, record analysis and focus group discussions. Data was analysed thematically. The findings showed that the Zambia Correctional Service (ZCS) offered three forms of education, namely, academic, vocational and literacy education. Detailed findings revealed that academic education took up 49% of the enrolled inmates whereas vocational education took 47%. Only 4% of the enrolled inmates were taking literacy studies. The overall enrolment rate in all the three programmes was 25% of the entire inmate population. It was established that the Education Supervisor was the direct overseer of all prison educational activities at the correctional facility and he was assisted by the inmates who volunteered as tutors. The provision of prison education was being monitored by the Kabwe District Education Board Secretary. The study also discovered a couple of challenges that were faced in the provision and management of prison education by ZCS. Lack of funding, untrained tutors and inadequate learning materials ranked as the top three challenges with over 90% of the participants citing them as the major issues; congestion was the other major issue cited by over 85% of the participants; victimisation of adult learners and limitation of job opportunities were also ranked as third major challenges by 75% of the interviewees. Additional challenges cited by 44% of the participants in the research findings included limited learning/studying time and lack of empowerment programmes. As much as 6% of the participants stated that infrastructure was also a problem hindering provision of quality education in prison. In light of these challenges, it was recommended that government needed to formulate laws and policies to govern the provision and management of prison education and align them with the missions and objectives of the ZCS. It was further recommended that the provision of prison education is supposed to be treated as priority in the correctional facilities.
The University of Zambia