Transport a big hurdle for city children to go to school | 2017-04-28 |

Transport a big hurdle for city children to go to school

BSS     28th April, 2017 04:02:49 printer

Transport a big hurdle for city children to go to school

Just after waking up from bed, little Progga hurriedly getting ready to go to school and she was in a charming mood as she has finished all her homework assigned by the class teacher.

"I hope, my teacher will be very happy to see my homework and he will give me 100 marks," told his father. But the happiness of the Class-1 student didn't long after getting out of her home.

Holding Progga's hand, her father was waiting in front of their house for school van for over ten minutes.

I was in dilemma whether we should catch an auto rickshaw or wait more time for the school van, father Paritosh Roy, a resident of Mohammadpur, said while talking to the correspondent.

Finally, the van came after around 20 minutes that resulted in her delay in school for around ten minutes. 

This is not the incident of a particular day, rather such problem comes almost every day. The van driver always blames traffic jam for the late.

Facing similar troubles for months, Sabbir Mahmud, whose son studies in class-II, has abandoned taking his child to school by school van. Rather, he decided to ride on a rickshaw or auto to take his child to school. 

But it also causes problem because rickshaw or auto rickshaws are not available early in the morning. Which are available, he said, the drivers always charge unusual fare from the passengers, he said. 

Most of the children in the capital face similar transport problems while travelling from home to school and at the time of returning home from school. Respite is only for those who have their own transports. 

If smooth and comfortable transportation cannot be ensured for children, they would not be encouraged to go to school, according to the parents.

If a child has to wait for transport for long time and then trap in traffic jam, how they would feel comfortable to go to school," asked Aforza Rekha, a guardian, saying "now I badly feel the necessity of a private transport, even by taking loans.

Talking to the correspondent, a number of experts in city commuting system, however, opined that such tendency of buying own transport is not suitable for overall traffic management system in the city.

The more private cars will hit the streets, the more traffic situation will be worsened. Rather, authorities should give attention to improvement of the public transport system, said, Kazi Shifun Newaz, assistant professor of Accident Research Institute (ARI) of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). 

Bus operators can introduce school buses or they can keep some seats reserve for students to facilitate the children to go to school comfortably. However, some others argued for giving emphasis on arrangement to allow the students to go to school on foot.

Work for Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust Programme Manager Maruf Hossain said most of the children in the city want to go to their schools on foot. But it's difficult for them in lack of adequate walking space or faulty design of the footpaths. 

In developed countries, there is a common practice that children residing in a particular area will have to enroll in a nearby school. Children from one area cannot enroll with schools in other area, Maruf said.

If such system can be introduced in the Dhaka city, children can go to school under their own stream.

When attention was drawn, the state-run Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) officials also admitted that the school-going children in the capital face acute transport crisis in the morning.

"There are only two BRTC school buses in the capital plying on Mirpur-Azimpur route daily, said Rafiqul Islam Talukder, DRTC deputy general manager. BRTC has a plan to increase the numbers of school buses next year, he said.