Educational Stakeholder Engagement in Session on the Operational Plan for the Issuance of NIN and the Registraion of School Going Pupils in Sierra Leone.
Freetown – Monday 9 January
The National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) has engaged Educational Stakeholders at the Ministry of Finance Conference Hall on George Street Freetown on the issue of NIN Issuance and Registration of all school going pupils in Sierra Leone. The proposed exercise will be conducted to ascertain the identity of pupils in Schools, minimise examination malpractices, guide Government and development Partners who invest in Education as part of achieving the SDGs by 2030 and also enable Educational Stakeholders in making policies that will enhance and promote growth in the educational sector in Sierra Leone.
Following a Cabinet approval secured on 2nd November 2022, the NCRA has been engaging relevant educational stakeholders in order to put all necessary modalities in place for an effective implementation of the Cabinet directives- Issue National Identification Number (NIN) to all school going pupils and to register those who are yet to do so with the NCRA.
DG MASSAQUOI giving an overview of the entire school registration project and the purpose of the Operational Plan for the Smooth Conduct of the Exercise.
Speaking at the meeting, the Chairman Mohamed Mubashir MASSAQUOI; the Director General NCRA thanked all representatives present for their continued support provided over the period to the NCRA since the inception of the project. He pointed out that the main purposes of the meeting are to present an Operational Plan which the NCRA has done reflecting all concerns raised in pervious engagements by concern educational stakeholders with the view of successful implementation of the cabinet directives. Mr MASSAQUOI went on to encourage all to freely discuss the operational plan as it is going to be used as a guide in the conduct of the exercise. He further informed the meeting that the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education Dr. David Moinina Sengeh has been closely working with the NCRA in order to adequately address concerns relating to over bloated figures of pupils enrolled to write public examinations, exams malpractices, wrong payment of subsidies to school among other supports provided to Government and Government assisted schools across the country.
“We had wanted to register and issue NIN to pupils in examinations classes only, but after serious consultations and brainstorming, Government saw it necessary to include every pupil in school.” DG MASSAQUOI informed. “We have the personal details of more than 90% of the Country’s population in our database,” said the DG “most of these pupils are already registered with NCRA and have NIN. This will expedite the whole process and make it last a month.” He ended.
Director of Operations – AbuBakarr Javombo presenting the Operational Plan on NIN Issuance and Registration of School Going Pupils in Sierra Leone.
Presenting the Operational Plan, the Director of Operations at the NCRA; Abubakarr Javombo, highlighted critical issues relating to the Mandates of the Authority as provided for in Sec (14b) of the NCR Act 2016, the specific directives of Cabinet, the conduct of the exercise to be done on regional basis, the proposed start date of the exercise and the expected outcome after a successful conduct of the project. Mr Javombo also presented a registration form, which is intended to be sent to schools through the Deputy Directors (DD’s) of schools. The form that captures pupil’s personal information was developed with technical support from the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE). This is to help expedite the process by way of determining those pupils who have registered with the NCRA from those who have not done so. He concluded that the proposed date of the exercise is Monday, 23rd January 2023.
Representative from Min. Of Finance asked about the availability of necessary funds to ensure the successful implementation of the project. He however applauded the move made by the NCRA and its partners, citing that annually Government spends Billions of Leones on Subsidies and other supports to schools without being able to effectively evaluate pupils who needed support as to those that actually received support.
Concerns raised by the representative from the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education relating to the two weeks’ timeframe per region and the inclusions of local Islamic schools were addressed by the Director General. DG MASSAQUOI added that the project is especially targeting schools under the purview of the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education. He further informed the meeting that the National Identification Numbers (NINs) recorded at every centre across the country will be printed at District levels for onward distribution to schools.
Audience of Educational Stakeholders discussing the Operational Plan on NIN Issuance and Registration of School Going Pupils in Sierra Leone.
In attendance were representative from the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE), the Conference of Principals, the Sierra Leone Teachers’ Union (SLTU), Ministry of Technical and Higher Education (MTHE), Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Ministry of Finance.
Closing the meeting, DG MASSAQUOI thanked every representative and encouraged them to continue in the same spirit as the NCRA is very pleased with the cooperation and support from all stakeholders. This he said, form part of Government efforts to ascertaining the correct number of pupils writing public examinations per school; determine Government’s support to pupils in schools; eliminate the possibility of identity fraud and other forms of impersonation in public examinations. DG MASSAQUOI concluded by assuring Stakeholders present that by the end of the exercise, the data will enable the MBSSE to make informed decisions on matters relating to pupils and schools, thereby improving accountability in the educational sector.