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Oct 5, 2018

13 Inmates Successfully Sit P.S.E.

Thirteen inmates of the Belize Central prison today proudly received their certificate of recognition for successfully sitting the Primary School Examinations. Another fifty-six inmates also received recognition for completing training in andragogy or adult education. The ceremony served as a reminder by the Kolbe Foundation to the inmates that there is life outside of prison and that reintegration in society is as possible as becoming a better human being. Hipolito Novelo has the story.


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

A decision by the Ministry of Education to extend the opportunity for inmates of the Cindy Gregg School at the Belize Central Prison to sit the Primary School Examinations led to today’s ceremony of recognition. Fifteen inmates sat the exams; of that number, thirteen received passing marks including top performer, Marvin Stevens.


Marvin Stevens

Marvin Stevens, Inmate, Belize Central Prison

“What makes us inmates more from unforgiving to forgiving? What makes us inmates to move from merciless to merciful? What makes us inmates move from inexistence to existing? One word: attitude.”


Stevens grew up troubled and rebellious. At the age of ten, he became a resident of the youth hostel, having been expelled from primary school for smoking marijuana. Steven is now serving a term of fifteen years for manslaughter. His time behind bars has allowed him to contemplate his future out of prison and reintegration into society.


Marvin Stevens

“Whilst sitting in classes for preparation for the exam I was about to quit due to what is being said: that I was too old to sit the PSE. I share my thought with my mentor and he asked how if I will do the same thing in society; start something and quit due to what the naysayers say. The truth about it all is that I must continue whatever I aspire to as long as it concerns education and personal development.”


Alongside the successful thirteen, fifty-six other inmates successfully completed training in andragogy, the methods and techniques used to teach adults. Terrence Fernandez shared his experience.


Terrence Fernandez

Terrence Fernandez, Inmate, Belize Central Prison

“We are not merely facilitators, teachers or educators. We have surpassed all of that. We are breaking new boundaries, clearing new lands planting new seeds, a new breed, cross pollination has begun. Due to our minds, our hands in fertility we are growing and at the same time we are carefully nurturing for its most effective growth the seeds. Whether reaping a new crop or awaiting a harvest, the seeds are dispersed. The service goes on.”


…and so does life. Today C.E.O. of the Kolbe Foundation, Virgillo Murillo, reminded the inmates that there is a life outside prison.


Virgillo Murillo

Virgillo Murillo, C.E.O., Kolbe Foundation

“This accomplishment of yours is a vivid example that your life is not over just because you have crossed the threshold in prison. The Ministry of Education and their staff provided you with a most quality opportunity to achieve some greatness even while you are behind bars.”


Even while behind bars, the inmates are encouraged to dream big, to utilize their talents in order to achieve their goal and to fight through the barriers of society with education as their weapon.


Carol Babb

Dr. Carol Babb, Chief Education Officer

“You are blessed with some talent and I hope that while you are in here you get the opportunity to pursue your dream, the dream that you did not get the opportunity to pursue. You can help to build Belize to be a better and safer place if you choose to educate yourself fully. So go until you cannot go anymore, we are willing to help you. Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon that can change you an individual and impact others.” That is the only weapon I want you to pick up: education.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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