The education dept seems to be taking safety of children commuting between schools and homes seriously. It has asked education inspectors in all zones to find out how many schools had formed the mandatory school bus transport committee as per the revised school bus policy. The inspectors have to submit the report by next month.
There was a lot of furor last year after the department promulgated guidelines for schools under the bus policy on Nov 18. One of the suggestions in the policy was to form the school bus transport committee.
Now it's mandatory for every school to form the committee that will look into matters of safe transportation of children, fees and identification of bus stops. It will be headed by the school principal and will have as members a PTA representative, a traffic/police inspector, an MV inspector/asst inspector, education inspector, representative of bus contractor and representative of local authority. It's also mandatory for the committee to meet at least once in three months and verify documents of the vehicle.
Indrani Malkani, member of the govt committee that formulated the school bus transport policy, said: "The notification of the policy on safe transportation of school children was effected on March 22, 2011. The rules and regulations 2011, of the said policy, meant for administrative purposes, were supposed to be circulated by the education dept. Unfortunately, the dept created confusion by calling Rules and Regulations 2011 as 'Revised Guidelines'. This created misunderstanding among members of Headmasters Association. All schools are required to form a transport committee as per notification dated 22 March 2011. Since schools are under education dept, it's expected to check how many schools have formed this committee, but since relevant documents have not yet been circulated in schools, there is a problem with implementation of the said policy."
Assistant director, Junnarkar Dnyaneshwar, school education, said: "Last month all education inspectors were asked to check how many schools had constituted the committee. They will submit the reports by next month."