By Andrew Mkonda MANA
Maula prison has transferred 58 young offenders who are preparing for their Primary School Leaving Certificate, Junior Certificate of Education and Malawi School Certificate of Education examinations to Bvumbwe Young Offenders Rehabilitation Centre in Thyolo district due to lack of learning facilities at the prison.
Malawi Prison Service Public Relations Officer Chimwemwe Shaba confirmed the development on Tuesday in an interview with Malawi News Agency.
Shaba said initially, Maula prison is not supposed to be keeping young offenders, but for those who would like to continue with their education, the arrangement is to send them where there are learning facilities.
One of the Leaders of the young offenders at the prison Dominic Sadick said all students that are supposed to write their examination this year, have not been learning for a long time due to lack of learning facilities at the prison.
“It is a pathetic situation even though we are in prison, we do believe that we still have a right to education as every young Malawian out there. It is disappointing to see that the prison here [Maula] doesn’t have learning facility for young offenders,” he said.
Sadick said the situation has been there since August, 2023 when the MPS moved the young offenders from Kachere Rehabilitation Centre to Maula prison.
Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) Secretary Habiba Osman thanked the MPS for considering moving the young offenders where they can pursue their education while in custody.
However, Osman said there is need for MPS to identify a proper facility where they can inhabit young offenders to avoid such situation in the future, which lead to violation of their right to education.