|18 June, 2019

FNC panel calls for unified school bus safety system

The move followed the death of a six-year-old Indian boy last week

Close-Up High Section Of School Bus Against Clouds. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Close-Up High Section Of School Bus Against Clouds. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Getty Images/Mark Horton / EyeEm

Members of the Federal National Council (FNC) have called on education authorities to introduce a unified safety system for school buses to protect the lives of schoolchildren across the country.

The move followed the death of a six-year-old Indian boy last week after he was left on the sweltering bus in Dubai for many hours.

The FNC's Committee on Social Affairs, Labour, Population and Human Rights on Tuesday said the Ministry of Education and other concerned government agencies should immediately intervene and introduce measures to put an end to incidents of pupils being negligently left behind on school buses.

The committee said there is need for the authorities concerned to immediately adopt four specific measures to ensure the safety of pupils in school buses at the federal level.

Hamad Al Rahoumi, chairman of the committee, said there is need to establish a uniform stricter system for bus requirements at the federal level that detects school bus drivers and conductors are committed to ongoing training courses, and the task of checking and monitoring the children while on the buses and when getting on and off the buses.

He added that there is also a need to establish a secret inspection and control system on school buses, which can report the extent of a driver's commitment to students' safety and security requirements.

"These are people who transport our children on a daily basis but they seem not concerned or not qualified enough to ensure the safety of the lives of children," said Al Rahoumi.

He added: "It is necessary to find a new system agreed upon by the ministry and other authorities to ensure the safety of students in school buses and prevent the death of more pupils in the future.

"The incidents of forgetting children in school buses are repeatedly occurring and require quick solutions."

Al Rahoumi said there is also need for mandatory training courses for all drivers on how to deal with children on buses and the adherence to safety requirements.

He also suggested introducing smart programmes or applications that can be used to show the arrival and departure of the child to and from school.

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