Tuesday 27 October, 2020

Ready for primary school? - Get their birth certificate ready!

As you begin to prepare your son or daughter for primary school, there are a few tips to help you along the way.

In general, school application forms for public schools are posted on the Ministry of Education’s website at the beginning of the year (January or February). 

For most public schools, applications must be completed and submitted to the school of choice by March. 

Application results are announced in May of the same year, and registration takes place in either July or August for new students. 

To apply for a public school, your child must be at least 5 years old at the beginning of the school term.  The child must also live within three kilometres of the school of choice.

If your child’s school application is successful, you will need to present original documents at the time of the registration, such as a recent utility bill, as well as the Birth Certificate and Updated Immunisation Card for your child.  Of this list, the most important document is your child’s birth certificate. 

The birth certificate confirms a child’s name, date and place of birth, as well as his/her parents’ names.  The school will use this information to create an identity for your son or daughter that will be used for primary, secondary and other education over their lifetime. 

You can use this useful checklist to ensure the birth certificate is valid for school registration.  Your child’s birth certificate must have:

  • A Given Name - This is the official first and middle name for your child
  • Mother’s Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Official Stamp and Signature of Registrar General
  • Father’s Name (Optional)

If your child’s birth certificate is missing the given name and father’s name from the checklist, you can insert the name by visiting any Registrar General’s Department office in Arima, Port of Spain, San Fernando or Tobago.  The name insertions service is only offered to children and adults that have no name listed in the Given Name or Father Name section of their birth certificate. 

To learn more about the birth name insertion process, check out this video or AGLA’s flyer (include flyer link – attached front and back).

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