By George Busiinge
The National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA) has trained over 160 enrollment officers in the Albertine grabben area to help in the mass registration of school children from the age of 5-16 years in both primary, secondary and tertiary institutions whether Ugandans or not.
Herbert Katende the Hoima district information technology officer in an interview at Rivera Hoteri in Hoima told Earthfinds that the purpose of training these enrollment officers is to help capture data of children in the age bracket that is not currently recorded in the national registry data bank.
Katende says that the enrolment officers are from Hoima district and are being empowered with practical use of laptops, cameras and other gadgets they are going to use through a period of three month.
Katende requested the enrollment officers to work hand in hand with head teachers of the schools in order to make this exercise successful because it’s very important for teachers, parents and the children.
Katende warned enrollment officers to keep the gadgets and protect them safely because they are government property and if they get lost in their hands they will be taken to police to answer the charges. He cautioned the people who are going into this exercise to avoid social media networks like WhatsApp and Facebook and concentrate on the work they designed to do.
The mass registration of children aged between 5 and 16 years for the national identity card project was launched in Bunyoro region recently. The launch held at Glory Summit Hoteri in Hoima and was attended by leaders from 9 districts of Bunyoro in preparation for the exercise which will cover all primary and secondary schools across the country.
The registration is an undertaking by the National Identification Registration Authority, a government entity mandated to register births and deaths in the country and to develop a National Identification Register for both citizens and legal residents.
Hon. Nansubuga R. Seninde who was the guest of honor at the launch told Earthinds that the exercise is aimed at capturing data of children in the age bracket that is not currently recorded in the national registry data bank.
Nansubuga says that pupils will however not be given National Identity cards. Instead, they will be given a national identification number which will be used for the issuance of a National ID once they turn 16. During the initial registration in 2014, the authority captured data for citizens aged above 16.
Nansubuga the state minister of primary education said that the registration will also support proper planning in schools where government has been losing two billion Shillings annually due to the presence of ghost pupils.
She reminded parents and all stakeholders to take children to licensed schools. Nansubuga says that pupils and students who will miss out on the registration process will not be allowed to sit for final exams at different levels of education.