Parents of Amity International School in sector 43 on Wednesday held a meeting and discussed the issue of transportation of their children in the light of fire breaking out on a school bus on Monday. They also decided to set up a forum with parents from other schools and also work with district administration to ensure that all the schools follow norms for transportation of children laid down by the government.
They also reiterated that they will not allow their children to ride private buses that do not follow the colour code and other norms.
An Amity school bus had caught fire on Monday morning and 35 students and four staff members had a fortuitous escape.
“We are paying the transportation fees. Why should we then compromise on the safety of our children? We want yellow colour buses that adhere to all norms. Else, we will not pay transportation fees from the next academic session,” a parent said.
Another parent said, “If the schools have no budget to buy buses, they should not charge transportation fees. They are overcharging parents and yet risking the safety of our children by letting them ride private buses. In the event of a mishap, they conveniently lay the blame on the bus operator.”
A group of 25 parents will hold a meeting with the principal and school management on Saturday. They are likely to demand more women attendants and installation of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras and GPS (global positioning system) devices inside school buses. They will also demand the setting up of an active parents’ association.
They claimed the staff and drivers are often not in uniform and are not sincere about their jobs. It is only when an incident (such as the bus catching fire on Monday) takes place that they become proactive, a parent said.
“We will meet the school authorities on Saturday and give them a memorandum listing our demands to ensure the safety of our children. We will request them to meet these demands in the interest of our wards,” a parent said.
The parents said the school must run its own buses and not hire ones from a contractor.
Many parents have decided to arrange a meeting with those whose children study in other schools and have vowed to unite in not allowing their wards ride white coloured private buses hired from a contractor. More than 80 parents from across several schools have already joined a WhatsApp group formed to take the cause forward, a parent said.