Posted on: Friday 12 October, 2012 10:18
|School transport to be expanded in stages
The government will spend SR 4 billion on its school transport project during the next five years to eventually provide the service to all school pupils and women teachers in the country.
The government’s Tatweer Education Holding Company (THC) will implement the transport project based on a three-staged plan. The first starts this year — and concludes by the end of 2013 — as the company takes over the responsibilities of the Ministry of Education’s Al-Ameen School Transport project that currently serves 630,000 girl students.
This plan was divulged Sunday during workshops at the first International Conference on School Transport, held at the International Convention and Exhibition Center in Riyadh. The company’s plan also includes women teachers, kindergarten children and special-needs students.
The second stage of the project would be implemented from 2014 to 2016. The number of transported girl pupils would be doubled with the inclusion of a number of boy pupils, to reach a total of 1.2 million pupils transported by about 25,000 buses.
The third stage would start by the end of 2016. At that stage, pupils benefiting from the service are expected to number 2.8 million. Women teachers, kindergarten children, special needs pupils and higher-education female students are also expected to benefit from the service in that phase.
The conference included a workshop for transport supervisors at the ministry’s offices around the country. About 200 officials attended the workshop that focused on how to follow up with contractors and the importance of working as one team to manage a development process and guarantee constant development and improvement in the field of educational transport.
The officials discussed methods to follow up, monitor and assess a contractors’ commitment to the conditions and standards of the service, using key performance indicators.
The workshop also reviewed the challenges facing the sector of school transport, such as subcontracts, a lack of supervisors and qualified drivers, in addition to the fact the current buses do not meet the aspired level.
To reach a point where service is introduced as per international standards all-out efforts must be made, the workshop concluded.