November 25, 2020

New computer courses at Northward prison

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Nicholas Dixey of Mourant Ozannes presents prison officer Andrew Gregory with a cheque in support of the prison’s two new computer programmes. Left to right: Alton McDonald, Aduke Natalie Joseph-Caesar who organized the programme, Robert Geofroy, Head of UWI Cayman campus, Andrew Gregory, Nicholas Dixey, Dwight Scott, Director of Prisons, and Kathryn Dinspel-Powell, Dep. Chief Officer, Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs.

HM Prison Northward announced two new partners who are helping provide two new courses in computing, as part of their prisoner rehabilitation programme.

The courses, one in computer literacy and the other in computer support and maintenance, are designed to enable prisoners to find jobs more easily upon their release.

The University of the West Indies (UWI) Cayman Campus are providing tuition for the courses, which normally cost CI$300 each student, by only charging an administration cost of CI$50 per student. The UWI is also helping train one of the prison officers, Andrew Gregory, who already teachers a computer course at the prison, in teaching methods.

The other partner in the project, law firm Mourant Ozannes presented a cheque for CI$800 to prison service representatives,  part of a total payment of CI$1300 which is being used for computer course expenses.  The firm has also pledged ongoing financial support as the courses progress.

At the official presentation, prison officials met with representatives from the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs, the UWI, and Mourant Ozannes. Northward Prison’s teachers, Alton McDonald, said: “Computer literacy has taken its place alongside the traditional ‘three R’s’ as the fourth component to education. Everything you can think of now has something to do with computers.

“We are happy to know that prison can offer something to inmates who want to go out and make a change, and we are so happy and grateful that Mourant Ozannes could partner with us to ensure that we are able to do this.

“We are linking with UWI open campus, a very important institution of learning in the Caribbean.”

Director of Prisons Dwight Scott said: “when we have these companies and instituions who are willing to partner with the prison service speaks volumes about your corporate responsibility. I can assure you that your donation here will make a very positive impact on the lives of these people.  It is a programme that is well sought after in fact we have a long waiting list for persons to get on it.

(Photo by: Christopher Tobutt)

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