Arab News – The Ministry of Education has announced that it is offering a fleet of around 25,000 school buses free of cost to transport 1,227,525 or 20 percent of the male and female students in the Kingdom.
The buses are expected to make 12,870,000 trips this year, operated by 28,000 drivers, administrators and field monitors.
The Education Transportation Development Company (ETDC) has more than 230 field employees, including supervisors and monitors around the Kingdom, to ensure the quality of services provided to students.
The company launched a free hotline (800-123-1000) for queries, proposals regarding school transportation services offered to public education students or for potential complaints.
Meanwhile, in the town of Faifa in Jazan region, a number of students were absent from school due to lack of transportation and the inability of parents to pay for private drivers to take their children to school.
About 4,500 students lack any means of transportation to school this year, after the suspension of the operating company.
Parents called on the Department of Education in Sibya governorate and the transport company to offer solutions to this problem and prevent further delay in their children’s education.
Ali Khawaji, spokesman for the department, said school transportation services were stopped at the beginning of the academic year because the organization tasked with the job by the ETDC last year was unable to fulfill its obligations.
He said there have been many warnings, reports, meetings and pledges by the company, but it fell short in performance and delayed the payment of dues to contractors for several months.
He said school transportation is the responsibility of the ETDC, while the education department is tasked with monitoring and submitting reports about school transport services.
As for students in need of special education, he said there are no transportation services due to lack of completion of special procedures to task a contractor to provide transportation.