Birth Reg of children born in the diaspora still a concern
By Thubelihle Siwela
Birth registration of children born outside Zimbabwe still poses numerous challenges for schools, children and their guardians. A significant number of children born in the diaspora especially in South Africa still remain undocumented hence failure to register in schools.
Some guardians and schools of these children and NGO representatives bemoaned the issue saying it is taking a heavy toll on the children who are failing to register for examinations.
Payi Moyo, a paralegal at Justice for Children said it is important that parents apply for birth certificates and/or send their children with birth confirmation records or apply for them in the country’s embassies so they may be admitted into schools and be able to register for examinations.
“We are dealing with cases of birth registration and school dropouts on a daily basis and as a result, quite a number of children are being deprived of their right to identity and education.” she lamented.
During a birth registration mobile clinic in Makokoba, some residents cited that most children born outside Zimbabwe come from South Africa and are sent through malayitshas without any form of identification hence failure to register at schools.
Neria Tshuma, a grandmother of four, said her daughter sent her children from South Africa nine years ago without birth certificates or birth records and because of that, they have never gone to school since.
“I have tried to seek help from the Social Welfare and other NGOs to no avail. The organizations need the children’s birth records in order to assist them but I do not have them. The eldest is supposed to be in grade seven but she has never set foot in a school.”
A grade seven teacher from Lotshe Primary school in Makokoba said the school does admit children without birth certificates hoping the parents or guardians solve the issue before they write examinations. However most of the parents fail to produce birth certificates and the students do not write and fail to proceed to high school.
Zimbabweans abroad can apply for birth certificates for their children through the country’s embassies in the diaspora. They are no longer required to come to Zimbabwe to process these documents.
The requirements include a national identity document, marriage certificate where applicable and birth confirmation records where their child was born. Registration for children under the age of six is free and costs $2 for children above the age of six.