Promoting the Spirit of Ubuntu (Humane) in A Gauteng Correctional School: A Wellness Perspective

Meahabo Dinah Magano
University of South Africa


ABSTRACT The paper reports on a study conducted on incarcerated learners in a Gauteng correctional school. The study used the Ubuntu principle as a lens, furthermore it was embedded in an interpretive paradigm and a qualitative research method was used. Purposive sampling was used whereby teacher, counsellor and learners were sampled and all participated on a voluntary basis. Interviews were used for data collection and approximately 30-45 minutes in duration. Data were analysed manually and findings revealed that peer pressure, substance abuse and poor family background are challenges faced by juvenile offender learners. In addition, anger and hatred led juveniles to commit crime. They all regret of their actions and they need to be loved, valued, and accepted by the community. Above all, juvenile offender learners want their parents to support them while in incarceration. Owing to lack of parental support, juvenile offender learners express their emotions through fighting among themselves. The Ubuntu element shown by some of the visitors, pastors, teachers, and correctional officials contributed positively in behaviour change amongst juveniles. They hope the Department of Correctional Services will make spiritual sessions compulsory for all offenders and religious education, cultural values should be included in their school curriculum to eliminate gangsterism in the centre. Keywords: Ubuntu, correctional school, juvenile offender, wellness