School transport services: Restarting amidst challenges

By Sarah Hannan

Although schools commenced yesterday (6) for Grades Five, 11, and 13, not all school transport services had commenced operations, The Morning learnt.

“Our association took a decision that we would provide transport for children who are ready to go to school. While we are going to incur a loss by doing so, we cannot let children miss school because the authorities cannot arrive at a practical solution,” said All-Island District School Children Transport Association Secretary Kamal Ilangaratne, speaking to The Morning.

However, several school transport providers had decided that they will not be providing transport for children although schools reopened for the second academic term yesterday since they could not agree to the school ending times and do not have sufficient children to transport to school.

Ilangaratne noted that although the transport service is only bringing in the required students from each grade, they will have to charge all children regardless that they attend school or not as the seats on the vehicle cannot be allocated to other students.

He also added that when school finishes at two different times, it is a challenge to provide transport for children in schools and that the Ministry of Transport Services Management should allow to transport children according to the number of seats of the vehicle.