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New rules for managing public, private school buses
Transport director Arun Dessai said, “The Goa School Bus rules will be applicable to all vehicles carrying students to schools. This will help the department to regulate such vehicles.” Currently, besides buses, two-wheelers and three-wheelers are also used to take children to school and most vehicles are often overcrowded.
Under the rules, vehicle owners will have to register with the transport department and fulfill requirements laid down by the department.
Explaining the department’s plans, Dessai said, “All vehicles will have a specific colour and will have to display the signboard at a prominent place, owners will have to make special provisions for schoolbags, and buses will need to have additional steps so that children have no difficulty in entering the bus.”
Transport department is also planning to conduct a survey to find out how many vehicles are involved in ferrying students to schools. The rules are being framed under central government’s Motor Vehicles Act.
The department has identified 300 buses which have completed 15 years. “We will modify the Goa state bus replacement subsidy scheme 2001 to accommodate buses, auto rickshaws and taxis which have completed 15 years and the amount under the scheme would be increased,” he added.
Transport rules for school children
Overcrowding of vehicles
Vehicles unequipped to cater to students
High footboards, no facility for school bags
Parents to take part
Recognizing the fact that parents of students transported by school buses had a major say in the operation and maintenance of the vehicles, to enable them to make any representation with regard to conduct of drivers/attendants, maintenance of school buses and safety of students, an exclusive parent-teacher association headed by the principal/headmaster of the school should be formed.
Parents whose children were being transported by school buses would be the members. The association should meet once a month. The parents’ views should be sent to the school-level transport committee, which would look into them.
The panel, headed by the principal/headmaster, should have as members the sub-inspector of the area concerned; an official from the educational authority, MVI Grade I/II, a representative from the parent-teacher association.