Castlerea prisoners’ achievements celebrated

The achievements of 23 inmates at Castlerea Prison in terms of completing FETAC, Junior and Leaving Cert was recently celebrated at the Educational Unit at the prison. VEC officials, prison authorities, in-house agencies, teachers and students met to celebrate the presentation of FETAC, junior and leaving certificates to the inmates. Congratulations were expressed by Head Teacher Riona Finn, and Chief Officer Mr. Noone to all the candidates who successfully completed these certificates. Riona Finn went on to say that the Educational Unit offers a holistic programme to the inmates offering academic courses, (leading on to certification), personal awareness courses (drug awareness, social and personal ID, personal and interpersonal skills, STEPS, pre-release) and other courses, music, PE, stone carving, upholstery, art, creative writing, literacy, woodwork, home economics, humanities, CPC, nutrition, English (JC/LC), maths (JC/LC). ‘The flexibility of the FETAC modules best suit our students as the work is project based and finished portfolios can be assessed twice a year which allows a quicker feedback in terms of grades and it also suits the transient nature of the students. This year the Educational Unit had an enormous range of certificates at a wide variety of levels. Many students acquired certs in FETAC level 3, 4, and 5. At level 5, 99.9 percent of students achieve Distinction. Some students sat the Junior and Leaving and achieved excellent results: A1 in Maths higher level and B3 in English ordinary level. One student successfully completed his Masters in Education through the Open University this year. Certs were achieved in Junior Cert English, maths and art, Leaving Cert English and maths, FETAC communications, drug awareness, pay roll, database studies, spreadsheets, word processing, music appreciation, drawing, painting, ceramics, woodcraft, upholstery skills, textiles, food and cookery, woodcraft, leatherwork, computer architecture and systems, work experience, personal and interpersonal skills and nutrition.  Both Larry O’Farrelly, CEO, and Cllr. Tom Crosby, Chairman of the VEC, on behalf of the VEC Committee, congratulated the inmates for their achievements and the teaching staff for their hard work.