Form 4 leavers in Embu stuck over delay in release of ID cards

A sample of the Kenyan new generation ID cards.

Hundreds of Form 4 leavers in Embu County failed to access National Youth Service (NYS) training due to the delayed release of their national identification cards.

Parents and guardians expressed disgust at the continued delays in the release of the National Identification Cards and accused the government of having failed in its duty.

Wamucii Nyagah, a form four leaver who applied for the document two years ago lost the opportunity to join the service over the delay.

“I cannot believe that after struggling to attain various academic documents, I still could not get a chance to join NYS,” she complained.

She lamented that she left school with huge school fees arrears and had to seek assistance from the Gachoka District Officer Jennifer Fumo to access her result slip held at her former school.

Parents said that the continued delay in the release of the IDs was becoming a national scandal that should be tackled early enough before things get worse.

“Why should our children continue to be denied their right to this important document as indicated in the Constitution,” argued Niko Njeru of Kiamuringa village in Mbeere South.

Thousands of ID cards remain in the hands of the government with parents and children who applied for the same spending long hours and even money to try and access the document.

Most Form 4 leavers cannot access training opportunities including short courses such as driving because the lack of ID cards has made them classified as non-adults.

The delays have been blamed on logistic glitches such as breakdown of printing machines, shortage of printing materials and in cases of border county applicants, the need for thorough background checks of applicants.

The current applications backlog however has also been partly blamed on a court order stopping production of third-generation IDs.

By Robert Nyagah

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