NIRA rolls out free mass registration of school going children ahead of new school calendar

Edwin Tukamuhebwa, the Manager Registration and Operations at NIRA

Edwin Tukamuhebwa, the Manager Registration and Operations at NIRA (PHOTO/Courtesy)

KAMPALA — The National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) has started registering all the school going children in a much publicised free countrywide exercise.

Edwin Tukamuhebwa, the Manager Registration and Operations at NIRA told reporters on Saturday, that the registration, dubbed ‘Registering My Holiday Plot’ is among other things aimed at having a national register with each and every citizen’s data.

“This activity is specifically meant to register students including those who have ever registered but don’t have NINs. Our district offices are open and will always be open even on weekends to serve students. For the 10 new cities, we have put our teams at the Boma grounds since our offices may not be enough to accommodate the crowd,” Tukamuhebwa said, noting that the exercise is in fulfillment of NIRA’s mandate under the Registration of Persons Act.

Learners, who previously registered with NIRA, are required to first verify their registration status to determine whether to proceed with a new registration exercise,” said Tukamuhebwa, warning parents not to pay money for IDs.

“This registration exercise is free of charge,” he said.

Tukamuhebwa told reporters that all the five divisions of Kampala are being handled from Kololo Independence Grounds but similar exercises have also started in other parts of the country, including Masaka City, Jinja City, Mbarara City, Arua City, Gulu City, Lira City, Soroti, Mbale City, Hoima Cit, and Fort Portal City.

NIRA working with the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) recently sanctioned this exercise, saying it would help them to acquire national identification numbers (NINs) of all school going children ahead of the new school calendar.

“The law says a national ID can be held by anyone who is above the age of 16 and here we are issuing NINs but also updating the records of these learners who have turned 16 so as to be issued with national IDs,” Tukamuhebwa

The Kampala mass registration runs during weekends while in other cities, it’s a continuous exercise.

“We decided to do this exercise during the holidays when learners are at home, relaxed and not under the pressure of academics. This mass registration exercise will end when students return to school but registration will continue as we move to schools to give learners the services from there.”

Tukamuhebwa advises that learners register and get NINs before they return to school.

After registration, each child gets a National Identification Number that will be the same number which they will carry for life.

The number will also help them to apply for National IDs when they are 16 years old and above.

Need for ID registration

All parents are required to be registered and carrying a National ID ahead of the registration to facilitate the key requirement of linking every child to a parent.

It is important that every Ugandan possess a national identity card and have their biometric data.

Requirements for ID registration

NIRA says a learner needs a copy of their parents’ national ID.

If both parents are deceased, their relatives should avail recommendation letters stating the type of relation to the child and use their national IDs.

A duly filled NIRA enrollment/registration form, three filled on behalf of the learner by either the parent/guardian or teacher if a learner is below 18 years and by the learner if above 18 years.

In addition, present the learner for capture of biometrics (face and fingerprint) together with the parent/guardian’s original national ID card.

Those that were registered in 2017 only need to have their registration forms.

It takes only one week for a registered student to get their NIN numbers.

This is a big opportunity for students who have never registered for national IDs and during this holiday exercise, a student is eligible for coming with a non-student friend to also be registered.

Every applicant that comes to do a registration for national ID should leave a telephone number that NIRA can send an SMS to.

Feedback channels

In this exercise, NIRA will send applicants SMS as a feedback to alert them when their IDs are ready and also to direct them where to pick these IDs from.

Feedback has been prioritised in this exercise and by the help of tracking mechanism like the toll free number 0800211700, NIRA website and the USSD code *216# on any telecom line which will help you know when your ID is ready.

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