Education board, NIDA keep students on their toes over IDs

Students have appealed to Rwanda Education Board (REB) and the National Identification Agency (NIDA) to stop frustrating them over issues that can be sorted if the two institutions worked closely together.

Students camp at REB offices to try to sort out the errors in the registration process. (Byumvuhore Frederic)

Students camp at REB offices to try to sort out the errors in the registration process. (Byumvuhore Frederic)

This follows a mix-up in registration process that has seen scores of students camp at REB offices in fear of missing the national exams.

The concerns started after the students names were misspelled on their national ID cards and this did not match with exam registration forms.

The same issue happened last year, leading to the withholding of examination results of some students. To avoid the mix-up, the students are now trying to sort the matter during the on-going exam registration process.

However, their biggest concern is that they are losing time and missing classes trying to sort out the mess.

Julienne Usabwese, who is scheduled to sit A-Level exams this year from Groupe Scolaire Mareba in Bugesera District, had her surname wrongly spelled as ‘Usabyese’ instead of Usabwese.

“I have been coming here (to REB offices) since last week. I first went to ID agency but they sent me back to REB. The problem is that they keep telling me to come back the following day,” Usabwese said.

“I spend Rwf2,800 on transport every time I come to REB offices, so you can imagine how much money is wasted running back and forth between the two institutions and my home,” she said.

When The New Times visited REB offices, yesterday, there were many other students with similar troubles.

Missing classes

Jerome Twahirwa, one of the affected students, told this newspaper that by being in Kigali he is missing classes and this may affect his performance.

Twahirwa is an A-Level candidate at Kagogo Secondary School in Burera District in Northern Province.

“Coming here during school days affects our performance. Imagine a finalist (student) out of class for two or more days. Our colleagues are attending classes and we are struggling to have these documents corrected following mistakes we did not create,” Twahirwa said.

“It would be better if REB and NIDA worked closely together instead of students wasting time and money running between the two offices.”

Damien Hitabatima, a parent from Nyagatare District, said he does not appreciate the way students are missing school, running after documents because of mistakes made by public institutions.

“I accompanied my child because he had never been to Kigali before. He is a student at Karangazi Secondary School. His name was misspelled on his ID. Instead of writing Ndayiragije, they wrote Ndayiragiye. I have been running for a long time to local leaders to find other documents to bring here (to REB) and after I will go to NIDA. They (REB and NIDA) have to simplify the procedures,” Hitabatima said, adding that he also missed work to attend to his son’s issue.

When contacted, NIDA said it had asked head teachers to let the students fill the registration forms basing on the data found on their ID.

REB, yesterday, directed secondary schools head teachers to handle the cases instead of sending them to Kigali. But officials said most schools were yet to receive the directive.

NIDA, meanwhile, dismissed the students’ fears that their results will be withheld because of the mismatch, saying the agency will be working closely with REB.

Frederic Byumvuhore, The New Times

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