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Parents storm registrar's office over birth certificates.

By WINNIE ATIENOChaos erupted at the registrar of person's offices in Mombasa after hundreds of parents and students on Monday stormed the offices in search of birth certificates.Two women fainted at the congested offices, as the parents jostled to be served.

The birth certificates were required to register learners so they can get unique identifiers to be used in their education to replace the index numbers used during exams. The deadline for registration was Tuesday.

It was a push-and-pull affair at the registrar's office and the less than 10 birth registration officials were overwhelmed.Police were called in to quell the angry crowd, as parents urged the ministry to extend the deadline.

Mombasa residents fill forms to apply for birth certificates outside the Civil Registration Offices at Bima Tower Building on February 19, 2018. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP"I was here since 6am. The door was opened around 8am but by afternoon I had not been served.

My grandchild was born at home. It has been a hectic affair to get her birth certificate," said a woman who only identified herself as Fatuma.

When she realised she would not get the document, she sat down crying inside the offices begging the officials to help her grandchild.VERIFICATIONSadika Shee said her daughter, a student at Alfarsy Girls High School, was sent home after her entry number was not recognised during the registration.

"I was told by my teachers that my entry number isn't recognizable so I had to come here for clarification," the student said.Most learners who were sent away from public and private schools due to validation of their birth certificates urged the ministry to extend the registration period.

"I was told to come to Bima Towers at the department of birth records for verification [of her child's birth certificate]," another parent said.OVERWHELMEDAt Mombasa's Huduma Centre more than 400 parents turned up in search of the document while others wanted them verified.

The centre's manager, Alex Muriithi, said initially they used to record 150 new applicants.Mombasa residents fill forms to apply for birth certificates outside the Civil Registration Offices at Bima Tower Building on February 19, 2018. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP"But on Friday we recorded 600 cases and today the numbers will surge.

The most peculiar cases are old registration, children born eight years ago who lack birth certificates. Others are cases of foreign children either born in Uganda or Tanzania," Mr Muriithi said.

Brian Mae, 19, has never had a birth certificate, but when the deadline for the crucial documents came to a close he rushed to Mombasa's Huduma Centre.Last year, he easily got his Identification Card.

"I am afraid my documents have issues. I was born in Lugari," the student said.

REGISTRATIONLearners need their birth certificates verified as their names and details would be fed on the Ministry of Education Portal, the gateway to the National Education Management System whose deadline was Tuesday.The Ministry of Education would then issue unique identifiers to all learners, which would be used until the completion of their education.

The numbers would be used as a guide for accuracy and accountability on the free primary and secondary education resources.According to the government, from this year, candidates will use the unique identifiers in exams instead of index numbers.
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Publication:Daily Nation, Kenya (Nairobi, Kenya)
Geographic Code:6KENY
Date:Feb 19, 2018
Words:632
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