Arrindell promises inmate study financing

POSTED: 09/12/11 12:06 PM

GREAT BAY, St. Maarten – Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Rhoda Arrindell has promised the top student in a recent computer course at the Pointe Blanche prison study financing when to further his studies. Shervin Woods, who caught the minister’s eye after giving a presentation, has roughly a year left on his sentence and has promised nothing will go wrong before he can get his scholarship.

“This is a second chance and I am looking forward to my release within the next year,” Woods said.

Woods is one of 15 inmates who received certificates for participating in a computer course that was given by Joan Henson. The participants covered Windows XP, Microsoft XL 2007 and Microsoft Word 2007. These courses give the participants a skill necessary for today’s job market and Arrindell has called on businesses to offer them jobs or create them if necessary.

“Don’t judge them because of mistakes they have made in the past. As St. Maarteners we believe in giving people a second chance which is the nature of our society. We believe in forgiveness. Once you have paid the price for whatever errors and bad judgments you have made, we believe that you should be redeemed,” Arrindell said.

The minister has also encouraged the inmates to finish their sentences, re-enter society as meaningful contributors and avoid becoming repeat offenders. The specific way she suggested for them to do this is to accept every possibility to upgrade themselves.

“I want you to not rest on your oars since this is just the beginning of a new life that you have decided to create for yourselves. What you have learnt here is the foundation of what you could build for career, which is a new life,” Arrindell said.

Other people who offered their congratulations were Chairman of the Commission for Supervision RW van Veen, Director of the Foundation Judicial Institutes Windward Islands (SJIB) Gregory Thompson, Policy Worker/ Project Coordinator at SJIB Cynthia Filemon and the course’s instructor Joan Henson.

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