Lack Of Birth Certificates Affecting Education In West Pokot

Cases of school going- children who lack birth certificates are on the rise, affecting issuance of Unique Personal Identifier (UPI) number, that the government solely recognizes in offering education support.

Pokot South Sub-county Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), David Boen, is now calling on parents, to ensure their children are duly registered and issued with a birth certificate for smooth rendering of government services.

Speaking during a public participation engagement forum, held at Sekution village in Pokot South Constituency, Boen underscored the importance of a birth certificate in governmental functions, particularly during the enrolment process of children in schools.

He informed that registration of children helps in planning for school’s capitation by the government.

The DCC clarified that in the event of a low number of learners registered with the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS), the government’s allocation of funds for educational support, specifically in terms
of capitation fee, would also be reduced.

‘So, we request residents of Moreso from Sekution location, which is far away from government offices, to come and process birth certificates for their children,” urged Boen.

And in order to support the community in obtaining birth certificates for their children, the DCC proposed coordination with the registration office, on how to take the registration services closer to the community.

Salina Cheptoo, the Head Teacher of Sondany Primary School, expressed her concerns regarding the challenges they faced in obtaining funds from the government for school operations.

”The challenges mainly arise due to lack of birth certificates among learners, which is a mandatory requirement for NEMIS registration and subsequent release of funds,” she said.

The Head Teacher said that there are only a few learners at her school who possess birth certificates, while the majority of them do not have the crucial document.

”Around a quarter of the student’s population does not po
ssess birth certificates,” Cheptoo said.

Therefore, the biggest challenge the school faces is reduction in capitation fee, which the school gets, owing to the small number of children who have been captured by NEMIS because some lack the necessary documentation, she added.

Meanwhile, the lack of birth certificates among many children in the region, is primarily attributed to the far-off distant location from the Registrar of Parsons’s office, which compel residents to undertake long journeys in order to acquire the crucial government services, including acquisition of birth certificates

Cheptoo lamented that accessibility to the Registrar’s office is further hindered by the existing poor road network in the area, even the number of individuals in search of birth certificates in the region continued to increased, leading to a significant backlog at the local registration office.

”Some residents have actually lost faith in the entire tedious process of getting a birth certificate,” noted the Head Teacher

To enable parents to obtain birth certificates for their children without having to travel for undue long distances, Cheptoo is now urging the Kenya Kwanza government to delocalize the process, so as to ease congestion at the County Headquarters.

Source: Kenya News Agency