Mumbai: Bus policy scrapped, on a matter of principal

Thursday, 19 December 2013 - 10:05am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
School edu minister Darda bows down to popular demand and cancels GR.

Members of the Legislative Assembly cutting across party lines forced the government to cancel the Government Resolution (GR) issued by the school education department. The policy put the onus of the students’ safety on school principals.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) state working president and MLA Jeetendra Awhad, raised the GR issue through calling attention motion and saying that according to GR, the principals have to take complete responsibility for school buses.

Under the umbrella of the Maharashtra State Secondary and Higher Secondary School Principals’ Association, principals had written to school education minister Rajendra Darda, demanding a few guidelines of the policy be changed. The principals’ association had claimed that they were responsible for children within the school premises, but they could not take on more administrative work. Responding to this, Darda said the buses in which the children travel have to be safe.

Acceding to the demands, Darda said the GR, which was issued on November 18, has been stayed by the government. However, Darda pointed out that if there is a need, then they could cancel the policy in the next 10 days.

GR had asked schools to disallow students from travelling in vehicles other than certified school buses, which also meant that small vehicles like autorickshaws, taxis and vans could not be allowed to ferry children to schools. The policy had also stated that in case of any accident, action will be taken against the principal.

Awhad demanded that the policy be scrapped and that announcement be made in the legislative assembly. He cited that the members of the legislative assembly were in favour of cancelling the policy.

Bowing to the demands of the MLAs, Darda eventually declared it in the assembly that GR will be cancelled.

Dead end for GR policy
GR had asked schools to disallow students from travelling in vehicles other than certified school buses, which also meant that small vehicles like autorickshaws, taxis and vans could not be allowed to ferry children to schools. The policy had also stated that in case of any accident, action will be taken against the principal. The principals’ association claimed they were responsible for children within the school premises, but they could not take on more administrative work.


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