All over the world, a large amount of school going children use their school van to transport themselves to and from school, while there are also those who are driven to school by their parents or in some cases a chauffeur. Those children traveling to and from school are the responsibility of school administration as well as the school bus driver. Child safety should be one of the major concerns while operating a school bus service; however certain instances have forced us to think that it is quite the contrary. News has just emerged out of Al Ahsa where a school girl got locked inside a school bus in the Mubarraz area of Al Ahsa. Reports claim that the school bus driver had forgotten the little child in the van and locked her there.[irp]
Fortunately for the young students, a passerby happened to see the young girl crying inside the vehicle and immediately called the police. As soon as some police officers arrived at the scene, they managed to open up the door of the van which allowed the young students to get out of the vehicle. The school bus driver had parked the vehicle only a few meters’ distance from the school; however, he did not check the van to see if all of the students had gotten out of the van.
The reports also indicate that the young girl had fallen asleep on the seats which were at the end of the van. This slightly dreadful story with a happy ending should very well act as a reminder of the unfortunate and untimely death of the six-year-old Arab child inside the school bus of a private school in Jeddah. This incident did not happen more than a month ago and the six-year-old, Abdul Malik, a student in the third grade had similarly been forgotten inside a school bus where he succumbed to suffocation.
The driver of the school bus claimed that he had dropped off the children to school in the morning and then proceeded to park the school van nearby, under the hot Arab sun. When he went back to the van in order to pick the children from school, he found Abdul Malik unconscious at the back of the van.
These two incidents, one fatal and one none fatal were not isolated incidents and incidents such as these have been happening since a long time, the most notable being back in 2010 when a five-year-old girl by the name of Fida Haris had been left inside the vehicle for five hours under the extremely hot sun. The young girl was an expatriate residing and going to school ata the International Indian School in Dammam.[irp]
The International Indian School has from then on introduced various new measures in order to avoid any such incidents from repeating themselves. These measures include a text message which is sent to the parents of all absent children between the time of 7.30 and 8 a.m.
Source: Arab News