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Prison graduates are laying the foundations for a better future thanks to a Te Wānanga o Aotearoa literacy and numeracy programme.

Last week, six prison-based learners graduated from the Everyday Skills Intensive Literacy and Numeracy programme at Rimutaka Prison.

Each of the learners have progressed from Step 1 and 2 on the adult literacy and numeracy progressions scale to Step 3 or above.

In literacy the progression means they can now read everyday words with ease. In numeracy terms it means they are now able to calculate simple equations and use tools for measurement.

Under the programme a typical learner receives 100 hours of tuition to help him or her progress to a higher step of literacy and numeracy skills. From there they will be better placed to transition into NZQA-recognised qualifications and gain the skills they need for employment.

Innovation Development Group Director Aisha Ross says the ceremony was a significant milestone for the learners.

“Through learning to read and write and applying basic numeracy in their lives, these learners will be better equipped to engage with their whānau and society,” he says.

“Te Wānanga o Aotearoa believes the programme not only encourages them to set positive goals but it provides them with a strong foundation to participate fully in all aspects of family and social life including higher levels of education.”

Corrections Principal Adviser Education and Training Nigel Banks says the programme puts a greater focus on supporting a learner’s identity, culture and language.

Tutors work face-to face with learners in a culturally-responsive way.

“This helps with engagement and achievement. We’re enthusiastic about the potential pathways to further education and employment.”

“And by lifting their literacy and numeracy levels they are in a better position to benefit from Corrections’ rehabilitative opportunities,” says Nigel.

Eight hundred and eighty four learners have enrolled in the programme since it began in 2015/16.

TWoA has a three-year contract to provide intensive literacy and numeracy support to around 1,200 prisoners a year

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Published On: March 29, 2017

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