September 12, 2019
By Mohamed Massaquoi
Hundreds of parents from across Freetown yesterday stormed the Birth and Deaths Department for the registration of their children ahead of schools re-opening.
Birth certificate, according to them, is a requirement for the enrollment of their children into various primary and secondary schools.
One of the parents, Aminata George said they have been visiting the department for the registration of their children, but have been finding it difficult to do so, as there are a lot of processes involved.
“It is very frustrating to come here and we cannot get the necessary services as required by law. I am not happy that the birth and death personnel are asking us to pay money for the registration of our children,” she said.
Another parent, Usman Kargbo, told Concord Times that he was rejected by the head teacher of the school his daughter was about to attend because he failed to present his daughter’s birth certificate.
Howver, Deputy Registrar, Births and Deaths, Brima Kamara, said it was unfortunate that some parents have now put the department under pressure for the registration of their children.
He said it is the responsibility of the department to register children under 90 days.
He said there were various steps to take in the registration process, adding that representative from the National Revenue Authority was in the department to collect charges from parents who did not register their children during the 90 days period.
“The issue is that the schools have made it mandatory for parents to present birth certificate for their children before registration. As parents, we must be responsible for our children but a good number of people reneged on their responsibility to register their children after birth. That is the reason we are taking fees for late registration,” he said.
He added that there is a service charter at the department for members of the public to better understand the fees they should pay for the registration of their children.
“Some of them are making false claims against us but we always ensure transparency in our work in order to provide credible services for the people of Sierra Leone,” he concluded.