Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The quality of school buses has declined in recent years, leading to a drop in use by students, according to education officials.
In the 2012-13 academic year, the city had 274 schools with buses serving 100,000 students. That fell to 133, serving 32,159 students in the 2015-16 year.
The number accounted for only 1.9 per cent of the city’s total number of students.
Schools typically work with transport companies to provide the service.
At a recent workshop on school bus services in the city, a representative of the municipal Public Transport Management and Operations Centre said many schools lacked personnel capable of managing and providing funds for bus services.
Bùi Thị Diễm Thu, deputy head of the city’s Department of Education and Training, asked the city’s Transport Department to improve bus quality and provide conveniences for parents and students.
She said the education department had begun working with schools to apply IT to improve management and monitoring of bus services.
Many of the school buses are old and have been running for 10 years, which has driven away parents fearful of the safety risk.
Parents in inner city districts usually prefer to pick up their children at school, but the need is greater in outlying districts.
However, those districts often do not provide school bus services, and, as a result, many secondary and high school students drive motorbikes and electronic bikes to schools.
The list of traffic violations sent to the education department after the academic year ends has shown that most of the students were not wearing helmets and were driving without a licence.
Recent research from the Vietnamese-German Transport Research Centre of Vietnamese-German University showed that the number of young people under 18 years old involved in traffic accidents reached an alarming level between 2013 and 2015.
High school students were the most vulnerable, Dr Vũ Anh Tuấn was quoted as saying in Sài Gòn Tiếp Thị (Sài Gòn Marketing).
For the 2013-15 period, the mortality rate among high school students involved in accidents was 32.5 per 100,000 students in HCM City, four times higher than the rate for the entire city, and eight to nine times higher compared to the rate among the same age group in developed countries.
Around 80 per cent of traffic accidents involving students occurred while the students were driving vehicles, and the rest while adults were driving, according to Tuấn. — VNS