Lack of clarity on school bus services puts parents in a spot

By Special Correspondent

The lack of clarity on the availability of school buses has put parents in a dilemma over their

decision to send children to schools from November 1 onwards.

A section of the unaided school managements in the district has informed parents that school buses will not be available while several others are yet to provide a clear picture. As schools are expected to start functioning in batches and regulated timings, parents who wish to send their children will have to drop and pick them up from campuses using their own vehicles or other modes of transport.

Parents who received the intimation about the non-availability of school buses asked how working parents would be able to drop and pick their children daily. “We would have definitely sent them, if the school bus facility was available. It may be possible to drop them at school in the morning. But it would be difficult to pick them up daily by noon,” they said.

Honey G. Alexander, Deputy Director of General Education in Ernakulam, said that parents can inform either the District Collector or the Regional Director of the Central Board of Secondary Education, if unaided managements refuse to ply school buses from November 1 onwards. “They have to abide by the government directive issued in connection with the reopening of schools. Representatives of the managements of unaided schools had assured to abide by the government directives at the meeting called by the District Collector recently,” she said.

Managements were citing the stringent norms set by the authorities that permitted only one student per seat in a school bus as a hurdle in the operation of school buses. They also pointed out that there was no clarity yet on how many students would turn up on campuses from November 1 onwards. “We are gauging the response of parents and had sent circulars outlining the school timings and other protocols prescribed by the authorities,” they said.

The associations of unaided managements had also cited the expenses incurring out of the maintenance works of school buses, which have been lying idle for long following the pandemic situation.

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