Students' National IDs ready to be picked

Nov 12, 2020

Students who had reached age 16, and were registered by the National Identification and Registration Authority in 2017 will now have National Identify Cards (IDs).  

A statement issued on Tuesday this week; November 10, 2020, by Gilbert Kadilo, who is NIRA's Manager for Public Relations and Corporate Affairs, notes, "Children who were registered under the Registration of Learners programme, and had made 16 years, shall be issued with their National IDs." 

Kadilo says that these IDs will be issued at the sub counties, under which their respective schools fall.  

This follows the 2017 registration of learners' project, for National Identification Numbers (NINs) and National ID cards done in various schools around the country. 

Only parents who were duly registered for national IDs at the time, were able register their children because the system linked each child to their parent. Guardians were also able to register orphans under their care; according to details from NIRA. 

Kadilo, in a statement, explains that between May to December 2017, The Government carried out the Registration of Learners Project, to record learners in both Government and private Schools, between the ages of five to 16 years. 

The project that was led by NIRA working with the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) and other government agencies projected to register 10 million learners across the country, much as only 9.7 million learners were captured at the time. 

Kadilo explains that it was on this basis that learners aged 16 years and above have been issued with National IDs, while those aged 15 years and below will get National Identification Numbers (NINs).

He adds, "It was also stated that learners who would have missed registration during the project period would still have an opportunity to do so through our routine registration programmes conducted at the various NIRA District offices." 

"To date," Kadilo explains, "Of the 9.7 million Learners registered in the exercise, 7,102,453 million NINs have been processed while 371,087 National IDs have been printed for those who were 16 years and above at the time of registration." 

However, details from NIRA show that this project targeted only learners who were in learning institutions. Children who were not at school are expected to be registered later, since they were left out of this mass registration exercise.

NIRA says that foreign legally resident students were also registered on the Alien Identification register.

Why care? 

If you are a parent or an adult above 18 years of age in Uganda, chances are very high that you have a National Identification Number which is very instrumental in several official identifications.

Government, also plans in future, not to allow any Ugandan citizen, to access a school for his/her child without proof of Identification using the National Identity Cards. 

Nowadays access to formal services in Uganda such as financial services (bank accounts, land acquisition or registry), health access, and education requires one to present a National ID.

There are several values attached to having a NIN or the national identity card. But for the sake of children, NIRA says that the registration of children will help is planning for the national health system, ease schools and university admissions, planning for schools' capitation grants, and improved child safety. 

The cards and NINs, Kadilo says, will help children access e-passports, easy access on immigration and border crossing/checks, and also help the children when they become youths in accessing Government schemes for employment. 

Getting a child's NIN, card 

Kadilo months back explained that to ensure ease of access to the learners NINs and for issuance of the National IDs, "NIRA disaggregated the NIN lists by district and by school." 

"The NINs and IDs were dispatched to the various NIRA district and division offices. In addition, in May 2019, lists of successfully registered learners and their NINs were sent to the District Education Officers across the country from whom headteachers were instructed to collect the lists for their respective schools," he explains. 

Kadilo says that for the headteachers who have never collected their school lists are encouraged to do so, "From either the office of the DEO or the NIRA district/division offices in Kampala."

He says that for learners who lacked complete documentation were likewise sent to their respective schools for them to provide the required information and have their registrations completed. 

Parents, guardians can therefore obtain their children's NINs through either from the respective district NIRA offices under which the school where the child registered from falls, or from the schools where they registered from.

If your child missed out, Kadilo says that there is a continuous registration of persons at all NIRA district offices for both adults and children. "Children who were registered at school but had not made 16 years at the time but have since made 16 years are encouraged to go to any NIRA office and initiate the process of acquisition of a National ID." 

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