Six out of the 12 inmates at the Sekondi Female Prisons in the Western Region who wrote the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) Proficiency One Examination last year, obtained distinction certification while the other six got ordinary passes.
Five of those candidates who passed with distinction wrote the Beads Designing while one opted for Catering.
Three others who obtained passes, wrote the Liquid Soap-making exam, two sat for Catering while the other one took the Hair Braiding examination.
Chief Superintendent of Prisons (C/Supt), in charge of the Female Prisons, Mrs Hannah Ewoame, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic in an interview, expressed joy at the results, saying, "Even those who are walking free in town cannot pass let alone obtain distinction."
She explained that the sterling and remarkable performance of the inmates was in spite of the obsolete workshop equipment and other tools that were used to train them.
Mrs Ewoame, who showed the Daily Graphic the certificates of the candidates, further indicated that they were being kept safely by the authorities and after serving their respective terms of incarceration, the certificates would be made available to them.
Already, she said one of them had taken hers away as she had completed her prison term, adding that for security reasons their names could not be disclosed.
"If conditions are improved at the prisons, with the society coming to our aid in respect of modern equipment and working tools, I bet you our results are going to be better," she expressed with optimism.
C/Supt Ewoame said in the case of the NVTI examination, emphasis was placed on practical work and called for assistance since the prison authorities were handicapped to assemble tools, adding that some of the women could do well, if they were given the necessary push.
"We are, therefore, appealing to organisations and individuals of goodwill to come to our rescue to turn the fortunes of the inmates around when they leave the prisons for their homes so that while the investment of the benefactors will not be in vain," she assured.
She said when the results were shown to them, the candidates became very happy as they were assured of securing jobs with their certificates after they completed their prison terms.
The prison officer, therefore, appealed to society not to stigmatise them but rather accept them as their own, saying that they should not be turned out when they presented their certificates to be gainfully employed.
She also urged family members, friends and the society at large to provide them with the needed support but not to shun their company when they finally reunited with them at home, pointing out that anybody at all could become a victim of circumstance.
For the way forward C/Supt Ewoame indicated that "we plan to introduce Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) to our inmates who are interested and qualified.”
She again explained that some of the inmates came in as school dropouts, either at junior high school (JHS) one or two.
In that case, Mrs Ewoame indicated that her outfit would need volunteers who would handle the subjects at the prison yard as it was currently being organised in the other prisons across the country.