KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Prisons Department has achieved a milestone of sorts by becoming the first correctional facility in the country to obtain accreditation for its prison inmates skills training programme.
This means the inmates would be awarded a certificate upon completion of their courses by the Department of Skills Development, an agency under the human resources ministry.
Sabah Prisons director Senior Assistant Commissioner Mohd Sabri Yakob, who has been instrumental in getting the programme off the ground, told Bernama that a technical skills training committee was formed to ensure that standards were not compromised in any way.
The committee, which he chairs, comprises skills training agencies such as Institut Latihan Perindustrian, Institut Kemahiran Mara, Giatmara, Akademi Binaan Malaysia, and Institut Kemahiran Belia.
“The committee guides, supervises and audits, and where necessary, will submit proposals to overcome weaknesses and enhance the quality of the programme,” he said.
Five courses have been prepared in the programme targeted at prisoners serving at least six months.
“The tiling and plaster ceiling course and furniture course will involve inmates held at the Kota Kinabalu central prison, Sandakan prison and Tawau prison.
“The tailoring and landscaping courses will be conducted at the women’s prison in Kota Kinabalu only.
“The welding course will involve inmates at the Henry Gurney (reform) School in Keningau. The tiling and plaster ceiling course will also be conducted at the school,” he said.
The instructors are personnel of the department trained by the Construction Industry Development Board.
“We would not expect our achievement to be significant as yet. We still have to contend with problems of lack of infrastructure and equipment, academic requirement, apart from attitude both on the part of inmates and the instructors,” he acknowledged, adding that non-certificate skills training was still maintained. – Bernama