The school education department has recirculated a copy of the bus safety rules circular to various schools in Mumbai to remind them that their buses need to abide by them.
The Mumbai District School Bus Safety Committee, in a meeting recently held with police commissioner Rakesh Maria, found that many schools were not following the safety rules even though the education department had issued them the circulars nearly three years ago.
“We found that a few schools are still not following the rules. So, it was decided in the meeting that a reminder had to be sent to them,” said BB Chavan, education inspector of Mumbai south zone.
According to data with the education department, 80% of aided schools are yet to form a transport committee – comprising representatives of the schools and parents – to monitor the bus service. While aided schools said they have not set up the committee because they do not run their own buses, the education department said that all schools have to follow the Maharashtra Motor Vehicles (Regulations for School Buses), Rules 2011, irrespective of whether they own their buses or run contracted bus services.
Many schools are yet to form transport committees to check on school buses as required by the rules, said Chavan, adding, “All education zones are collecting data on how many schools have formed these committees.”
According to the education department, most CBSE and ICSE schools in the city have set up these committees. “Our transport committee meets regularly, checks on the condition of school buses and the credentials of drivers and attendants,” said Freny Mehta, principal, Alexandra Girls’ English Institution, Fort.
Why the move
Explaining the need for the reminder, member of the district committee, Indrani Malkani, who has also been a part of the policy-drafting process, said schools had not received the part of the policy, which was meant to help them implement the rules. “The policy was broken down into two parts, one to be managed by the RTO and the other by the school education department. However, instead of sending out their part, the department has sent out the RTO guidelines.”