Female staff must on school buses with girls

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Female staff must on school buses with girls

Every school bus carrying girl students as well as buses carrying mixed students up to primary level will require to have at least one female conductor, the RTA announced.

By (Shafaat Ahmed)

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Published: Thu 31 Mar 2011, 8:57 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:26 AM

Every school bus carrying girl students as well as buses carrying mixed students up to primary level will require to have at least one female conductor, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced on Thursday.

The announcement came as part of the joint initiative by the RTA, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority and the Community Development Authority to ensure greater security of children in the backdrop of the recent alleged sexual assault on a student in a school bus.

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“We already have a very good mechanism in place to ensure maximum security and safety of school kids, but with this measure we are looking to tighten it further and leave no room for any untoward incidents,” said a senior official at the Public Transport Agency at the RTA.

According to the new regulations, schools are obliged to post at least one conductor on each school bus and a woman conductor on any bus carrying pupils from the kindergartens up to the sixth primary class. The same applies to buses designated to carry female students or mixed male and female students up to the Secondary stage. The official said that the decision was taken after contemplating the current scenario in schools across the emirate. He also said that a team of experts from the three authorities also reviewed the best practices in the school bus conductors’ profession in the United States, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong and other developed countries.

The authorities have also set certain qualification prerequisites for the appointment of conductors on school buses. All the candidates should go through a training course designed specifically by RTA for the school bus conductors and get an approval from RTA before starting their job.

The conductors should not be below the age of 25 and should have a minimum education of secondary level, with a priority for graduates from educational disciplines.

The training courses to be conducted by RTA for the conductors will focus on conversational skills, First Aid handling skills, transport law etc.

“We already have training courses for bus drivers as well as conductors... what we are doing now is making it more comprehensive. Our current safety stipulations stand with some of the best in the world but we want to improve further,” Mohammed Abu Baker Al Hashimi, Director of Strategic Planning and Business Development at RTA’s Public Transport Agency.

RTA currently have in place safety stipulations that require school buses to remain under the speed limit of 80kph, have a shaft with stop sign boards, GPS systems as well as First Aid kits.

The authority has trained more than 5,000 school bus drivers over the last two years and issue dozens of fines every month through surprise inspections on school buses.

To make sure the stipulations are adhered to, the RTA along with the other to authorities will form a special team.

Chronology of case


24 March: Child molestation case verdict likely on April 6

The Court of First Instance is expected to pronounce its verdict on the case of alleged molestation of a four-year-old Indian schoolgirl on April 6. Lawyers of the three men accused of molesting the schoolgirl argued in court on Wednesday that the case lacks in proof and substantial evidence which made the accusations unreasonable.


17 March: Forensic expert testifies in schoolgirl abuse case

The Court of First Instance heard from forensic experts that there were no blood or semen stains on the clothes of the four-year-old girl who was allegedly abused by three men on her school bus. Police forensic expert said there were no traces of blood or semen on the clothes of the girl and on the bus. She also told the court that there were no injuries to her private parts and said that the child could have been groped, but evidence did not point to sexual intercourse.


28 February: Girl molested, not raped, in school bus: Forensic report

The Dubai Public Prosecution has referred three men to the Court of First Instance on the charge of molesting a four-year-old Indian girl in a school bus and sought punishment according to Articles 44, 121 and 356 of the Federal Penal Law, upon an order from the Dubai Attorney-General Eissam Issa Al Humaidan on Sunday.


4 February: Medical panel formed in child abuse case

The Public Prosecution is keen to leave no loose ends in the alleged molestation case of a four-year-old girl on a school bus last November and has intensified efforts to find out the truth. Khaleej Times has now learnt that an independent medical panel has been appointed to determine the role of the three detained suspects in the alleged incident.


16 January: Dubai Police investigates child’s rape

The Dubai Police arrested three Indians for allegedly raping a four-year-old girl in a school bus. The investigation team set traps to arrest these criminals. Interrogation is still underway to find out whether the convicts have committed similar crimes earlier.


18 January: Indian consulate calls for steps to prevent abuse

The Indian Consulate in Dubai will work with schools and parents to set up mechanisms that can prevent incidents of child abuse, the Consul General of India, Sanjay Verma, said on Monday. Responding to reports about the alleged rape of a four-year-old Indian girl onboard her school bus, Verma said the community has expressed “anxiety and anger” over the incident.


16 January : 4-year-old raped by school bus driver, attendants

The Dubai Police arrested three Indians for raping a four-year-old girl in a school bus. On January 11, the child’s mother informed the Bur Dubai Police station that three Indians, including 42-year-old driver MB, 43-year-old attendant J, and 39-year-old cleaner VST, who work for a school based in Nad Al Shiba had raped her daughter in the school bus on November 11, 2010.


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