By David Mafabi
The National Identification Registration Authority will hand over a report of 10.5m registered pupils between the ages of 5 to 15 years across the country to ministry of Education in March 30.
The Cabinet approved the biometric registration plan of pupils across the country under minute 60 (CT2017) as a way of wiping out ghosts so as to save resources.
According to Gilbert Kadilo, the manager public relations and corporate affairs at NIRA, the registration process was completed successfully and that they are now processing the data before they hand it over to ministry of Education for use.
“We are now processing date which we collected in the field using our software and by March 25 we shall have completed and then handover the processed date to the ministry of education for us,” said Mr Kadilo January 21.
Kadilo explained that the registration was an undertaking by the NIRA, 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.
He revealed further that the biometric exercise was aimed at capturing data of children in the age bracket that was then not recorded in the national registry data bank adding that the pupils have been given national identification numbers which will be used for the issuance of a National ID, once they turn 16.
Kadilo said NIRA intends that the pupils National Identity Numbers could be used by Uganda National Examination Board officials as Index Numbers for national examinations since they can’t be forged easily.
He added that ministry of Education could also create a software meant to automate student admission and management of their records to avoid ghost pupils in schools and ghost schools across the country.
He urged ministry of Education to liaise with local governments across the country to register private schools that are also providing a service to the nation.
“For example there were schools that popped up during the exercise for registration of their pupils but we could not register these because they were not on the lists provided by ministry of Education,” Kadilo said.
The head of planning in the ministry of Education and sports Mr Fred Matyama consented the number of pupils in the country is high and that it can only be determined accurately if the ministry of Education and sports and local government registered schools.
He said there are schools, especially the private ones that fear to register because they think they will be followed up on the taxes depending on the number of pupils and that this explains why there are no proper figures.