Thirteen in Bay among 146 which benefited.
An array of hardened criminals spent the past week illustrating their softer side through the Department of Correctional Services’ “Back to School” campaign, preparing 146 schools across the province for the first day of the academic year.
The department provided the services of 187 prisoners and parolees from the St Albans management area for a massive clean-up campaign.
A total of 13 schools in the Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan area benefited from the programme. The schools had to buy the material needed.
Regional commissioner Nkosinati Breakfast initiated the campaign last year in an effort to relieve teachers of menial jobs such as cleaning so that they could focus solely on the registration of pupils.
“It is common to find schools having overgrown grass and piles of rubbish lying around . . . when they reopen for the first term,” Breakfast said.
Work done included cutting of grass, cultivation of school gardens, cementing cracked floors, floor tiling, renovation of roofs, door and window repairs, repairing of bookshelves and cabinets, painting, cleaning of premises, repairs to ablution facilities, and fencing.
Department spokesman Zama Feni said the campaign was an annual event which the prisoners looked forward to.
– Tremaine van Aardt
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