Abu Dhabi: Thousands of school bus drivers, supervisors certified to ensure student safety

The certificates will allow hiring companies to employ more skilled and trained personnel



File photo
File photo
by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Mon 22 Aug 2022, 3:24 PM

Last updated: Mon 22 Aug 2022, 6:16 PM

A total of 19,077 conformity certificates have been issued for school bus drivers in Abu Dhabi, along with 21,398 certificates for bus supervisors. The certificates aim to pave the way for hiring companies to employ skilled and professional personnel in the school transportation sector.

The Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC) issued the certificates as part of the School Bus Drivers and Supervisors Conformity Programme launched by the Council in 2015, in cooperation with the School Transport Executive Committee of the Integrated Transport Centre.

Badr Khamis Al-Shamili, Executive Director of the Conformity and Specification Services Sector at the Council, said QCC was committed to the development of school transport services by upgrading the skills of employees.

Al-Shamili said the programme for school bus drivers and supervisors was designed by specialised experts of the Abu Dhabi Technical Standards Committee. The programme aims to protect lives and property by developing mechanisms and relevant specifications for hiring companies to follow, facilitating them to employ professional school bus drivers and supervisors, all of whom are trained and evaluated under the programme.

He said the programme ensured that school bus drivers and supervisors possess the required skills to work optimally, with special focus on the safety of students as well as road users. The training also covered conducting periodic inspection of school buses before and after daily trips.

Al-Shamili stressed the programme's focus on enhancing the commitment of drivers to maintain sufficient physical fitness, the correct use of bus equipment and tools, the appropriate behaviour in dealing with students and communicating with parents, wearing the required uniform and maintaining personal hygiene.

Al-Shamili pointed out that bus drivers and supervisors are trained to act appropriately in emergency situations, or during the evacuation of the bus in the case of a defect. They are also trained to follow the safe driving rules in various weather conditions or traffic situations, to adhere to traffic diversions as required, and to follow the necessary rules to ensure the safe entry and exit of children.

The launch of the school bus drivers and supervisors conformity programme is in cooperation between the Council, represented by the Technical Committee for Abu Dhabi Technical Standards, and a working team that includes representatives from several government bodies.

Authorities had in past years recorded several cases of accidents involving school buses as the drivers transported children to schools.

Abu Dhabi Police have also been issuing fines to school bus drivers caught violating traffic laws.

In 2014, a four-year-old kindergarten pupil died in Abu Dhabi after being locked in a bus in stifling heat.

The Indian school girl was left asleep for several hours when the van was locked by the driver and supervisor of the bus after the kids were dropped off at school.

The girl was studying at Al Worood Academy Private School and was found dead at the end of the school day after she apparently suffocated inside the locked bus on a hot day. The bus was being operated by a third-party provider.

The school bus driver, the supervisor and the school administrator were all convicted and jailed for negligence.

Authorities also closed the school permanently following the incident for negligence and failure to take suitable care of children.

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