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School buses without supervisors risky for students, say parents.

Summary: Records show that Emirates Transport requires 150 supervisors on buses that carry Grade 5-8 students.

Ahmed Shaaban

The common refrain is; without an assistant or supervisor, the commute becomes very risky.- Alamy Image

Absence of supervisors on school buses has raised concern among parents in Ras Al Khaimah.

The common refrain is; without an assistant or supervisor, the commute becomes very risky.

"We are afraid to leave our little daughters and sons on school buses alone with the driver with no supervisor to look after them during their travel to the school and back home," they contended.

Mohamad Ibrahim, an Emirati father of three girls studying in Grades 4, 5 and 7 in government schools, said he and his wife as well as other parents are worried that the school buses carrying their children don't have supervisors.

"Bus supervisors are so important to ensure students' safety and discipline in the bus and also sometimes prevent the kids from involving in petty fights," he pointed out.

The presence of a supervisor is also crucial, particularly in buses carrying girls, as they could often be left alone with the driver at the end of the trip, Ibrahim added.

"My daughters stay alone with the bus driver who drops them every day at the end of the trip in a distant area, and it is so risky," he added.

Sherif Al Wakeel, a father of two Grade 8 students, said bus supervisors are a must onboard. "This will put an end to repeated bullying among students, and make them more disciplined."

Obaid Al Buraiki, director of Emirates Transport in Ras Al Khaimah, said they have submitted a report on this issue to the Ministry of Education.

"Bus supervisors are needed onboard, particularly for Grade 5 to 8 students, because of their age."

Records show that Emirates Transport requires 150 supervisors on buses that carry Grade 5-8 students, he added.

"We receive phone calls every day from parents and have held several meetings with the families to secure bus supervisors onboard to better control the teenage students."

Umm Mohammed, an Emirati mother, said her Grade 8 daughter stays in the northern region of the emirate. "She is the last to be dropped home after a long 45-minute bus commute and it is full of risks.

"It is just unacceptable to have a school bus without a supervisor, particularly if there are girl students in it."

Umm Sara, another Emirati mother, said bus surveillance cameras are not enough. "A bus supervisor is much safer for the students," she pointed out. "This also helps avoid forgetting any student onboard the bus as it happened in some incidents where small pupils were forgotten in the vehicle."

ahmedshaaban@khaleejtimes.com

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Sep 17, 2018
Words:468
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