'Lucky she's alive': UAE parents shocked after child 'forgotten' on school bus

The family has withdrawn the child from the school and filed a complaint with local authorities, the mother said


Ashwani Kumar

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Image used for illustrative purpose. Photo: File
Image used for illustrative purpose. Photo: File

Published: Sat 25 May 2024, 11:38 AM

Last updated: Mon 27 May 2024, 9:19 AM

A four-year-old girl student from Sharjah was forgotten in the school bus by the staff recently and is lucky to have escaped the incident with her life, her parents told Khaleej Times on Friday.

In the past, there have been some reported cases where children have suffocated to death after they fell asleep in school buses or private vehicles mostly because of oversight by the supervisors or drivers.

Fortunately, in this case, the girl survived without any harm as the bus conductor found her crying during the second trip for the boys. However, the little child fell ill after the incident when she was inside the bus from 6am to 8.40am and had to be taken to the hospital for a check-up, her mother said, while revealing the details to alert other parents to remain vigilant and talk to bus drivers and conductors, and remind them to look after their children.

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Ever since the girl started going to kindergarten on the early morning bus trip for girls, her mother was careful to inform the conductor about the child falling asleep.

“It has been a few days since she started going to KG1. She wakes up at 5am, and the bus comes at 6am. She reaches the school by 6.35am. Children who wake up this early may fall asleep. So, I make it a point to remind the conductor to take care of her.”

What happened on the day?

On the day of the incident, the child boarded the school bus around 6am but didn’t reach her classroom on time, the mother said.

“At 7.30am, the conductor called to inform that my child fell asleep, was left behind in the bus, and couldn’t reach the classroom. I told him to immediately drop her home, but he didn’t. It was only when I called her teacher that she came to know about the incident.

"We rushed to the school by 8.15am, but my daughter hadn’t reached the classroom or school yet,” the mother said.

“My daughter said her head banged against the front seat. And as she woke up, there were all the big students, i.e., boys and senior students of the second trip. It was only when she started crying that the conductor realised she was left inside and then called me,” the mother narrated.

Reaches school by 8.40am

The mother recounted that the girl reached the school by 8.40am. The staff played it down as a minor incident saying she dozed off inside the bus.

“What if another bus was operated for the second trip? They would have known only by noon during the return trip. We have heard so many unfortunate incidents,” the mother said, pointing to cases like the recent demise of a seven-year-old boy after being left inside a car, and other similar incidents of children suffocating to death.

Not returning to school this year

The family has withdrawn the child from the school and complained to the local authorities (Child and Family Protection – Social Services Department), the mother said.

Unfortunately, the parents have chosen not to send the child to school this year, and opting for online education. “I can’t find the heart to send her to school until she is a bit older to look after herself. I have studied in the same school, but never expected my daughter to be treated this way. Our trust has been broken. We are lucky to get our child alive, I pray no other parents and child undergo such a miserable situation,” the mother underlined.


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