Gad Tusiimire, the team leader from NIRA headquarters in Kololo, says their target is to register about 10.8m children. He says NIRA will liaise with the Education Ministry to ensure that the childrens identification numbers appear on their report cards.
The State Minister for Primary Education, Rosemary Sseninde has asked local governments to tolerate unlicensed private schools during the forthcoming mass enrollment of children by the National Identification and Registration Authority-NIRA. Sseninde is the national coordinator of the program, which targets children between 5 to 16 years of age.
The exercise will help government to capture the details of the children and issue them with National Identification Numbers-NIN. Speaking at a regional sensitisation meeting at Glory Summit Hotel in Hoima town on Tuesday ahead of the state of the program on May 29th, Seninde asked district education departments, Chief Administrative Officers, Local council five chairpersons, Resident District Commissioners and Police not to clamp down on unlicensed schools, saying it may hamper the exercise.
According to Sseninde, although government has been cracking down on unlicensed schools and those that don't meet the minimum operating standards, many open each term across the country. She says for the success of the mass enrollment exercise for children, all schools should be encouraged to register their children irrespective of their status.
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The Minister says children in such schools shouldn't be excluded from the mass enrollment exercise, since all children will be required to present their National Identification Numbers when registering for their Primary Leaving Examinations in the near future.
She however, noted that apart from being allowed to participate in the mass enrollment exercise, government will continue cracking down on unlicensed schools. Gad Tusiimire, the team leader from NIRA headquarters in Kololo, says their target is to register about 10.8m children. He says NIRA will liaise with the Education Ministry to ensure that the children's identification numbers appear on their report cards.
Those aged 16 and above will be issued with national identity cards. Jackson Mugenyi Mulindambura, the Hoima District Health Secretary who represented the LC Chairperson, sought clarification on how the Congolese children resident in the district will be captured.
The NIRA officials clarified that all children aged 5 and above will be registered basing on their citizenship. Tusiimire explained that Ugandan children will be issued National Identification Numbers while the refugees and those from unknown tribes will only be given NINs if they accept to identify with a Ugandan ethnic group.