Institute of Correctional Studies (ICOST) of Maldives Correctional Service (MCS) has held the graduation ceremony for the third batch of “Diploma in Correctional Management” last night at Maafushi Prison.
The one-year course officially commenced on 10th January 2021. A total of 28 officers from all prisons and head office joined the course, though 14 of them went on to graduate. Six students left the course due to various reasons.
The ceremony was honoured by chief guest Minister of Home Affairs Honourable Sheikh Imran Abdulla. The ceremony was also attended by Commissioner of Prisons Ahmed Mohamed Fulhu, Deputy Commissioner of Prisons Uz Ibrahim Mohamed Didi, Assistant Commissioner of Prisons Mohamed Asif, Director of ICOST Superintendent Moosa Anwar, Commissioned Officers and invitees.
The course is formulated specifically for MCS and relevant to its work. The main purpose of the course is to develop prison officers academically and skillfully proficient; as well as to teach problem-solving skills at management level. It is also the first course of its kind.
While addressing the graduates at the ceremony, Minister of Home Affairs Honourable Sheikh Imran Abdulla said that one of the most advancement or success a human can achieve in his/her life is the opportunity to travel through the phases of attaining knowledge. He spoke of an example related to attaining knowledge and stated that the Diploma in Correctional Management is one of the fields that is most beneficial and crucial to Maldives and an important step towards the rehabilitation of offenders in Maldives, as the graduates play a pivotal role in the confinement and reforming of repeat offenders into citizens that are accepted by the society. He also stated that skill and knowledge is required to carry out the task. The Minister said that crime rate per capita is high in Maldives and it was a troubling rate for the government which requires a huge change, and the change is to be brought by MCS, from the most senior ranked staff to the lowest.
Highlighting the importance of knowledge, the Minister said that in addition to achieving success, attaining knowledge also will lead to a higher status, prestige and honour in this world and after. He noted that this batch of the course had a much higher rate of graduates than the previous two batches and encouraged to increase the number of graduates of courses to 80 percent.
Commissioner of Prisons Ahmed Mohamed Fulhu thanked and congratulated the graduates and noted the fact that they had completed the course in the given timeframe despite the Covid-19 situation. The Commissioner said that having educated and skilled employees reinvigorates the institution and he feels joyful for it. Despite the setbacks and situation, the graduation of 14 of students is a huge success, he noted; and thanked ICOST for their valuable efforts. He also thanked MCS staff with higher educational qualifications in different fields who took time and effort to teach in the course. Highlighting the previous management’s groundwork of ICOST, the Commissioner noted that as a result, currently there are 10 educated and capable staff working at ICOST. During the past three years, 23 courses have been conducted for employees with opportunities for 360 employees, out of which 138 had succeeded in completing the said courses and the Commissioner thanked ICOST for the hard work with the limited number of staff. He also highlighted the importance of capacity building in MCS and spoke about increasing the educational qualifications of employees, noting that currently 28 percent of MCS staff were graduates while 62 percent were employees with different levels of certificates and 10 percent remained at O’ Level standard. The Commissioner further added that MCS aims to increase the graduate-level to 50-60 percent by 2025 through the implementation of a solid educational policy.
Those who complete the course will attain a certificate that is accredited by Maldives Qualification Authority at level 5. The course will be taught by lecturers with degrees higher than a bachelor’s degree in field’s related to correctional management.