Dubai: Some students are not allowed on school buses – News

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Dubai: Some students are not allowed on school buses – News

Some students across Dubai were stranded on Sunday morning when a shortage of bus drivers put a spanner in the works of the school bus transport system.

Several yellow buses took over the roads of Dubai on Sunday morning, as the students were able to learn fully in person again from October 3. However, due to a shortage of drivers, not all students could be accommodated on the buses.

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“Expected excitement this morning, but unfortunately STS was unable to arrange a bus for hundreds of students at Gems Our Own English High School,” one frustrated parent wrote on Twitter. “Request @KHDA (Knowledge and Human Development Authority) to allow students to study remotely until then.”

GEMS Education in a statement to: Khaleej Times, said: “Due to an unprecedented shortage of qualified drivers and support staff, we have unfortunately been unable to provide our usual capacity school transportation operation for some students who require this service at Our Own English High School, Dubai (OOD). We operate We are working hard to resolve this issue as soon as possible with our long-term transportation partner, meanwhile, we have introduced staggered collection as an immediate solution to reduce congestion and are in regular contact with all affected families to keep them informed.”

Parents were apparently informed about this a few weeks ago in a letter with further communication ahead of the school day.

On Sunday, the remaining students returned to campus to learn after a long one-and-a-half year hiatus as face-to-face classes resumed in Dubai schools on August 29 for the new academic year/semester.

STS Group, one of the largest school bus companies in Dubai, acknowledged the problem. Steve Burnell, Director of School Transport Services, said: “Unfortunately, due to a shortage of qualified drivers and support staff, we are currently unable to offer seats to all students who have applied for our service at GEMS Our Own English High School, Dubai and a few other schools in Dubai.

“We notified the affected families of the issue last week and communicated with them again this weekend. However, many parents experienced congestion and long delays at OOD yesterday (Sunday) and we have been working with the school to resolve the issues, with a number of measures including staggered pick-up times starting today (Monday) for students not taking this bus. can currently use. We hope to be able to provide seats for all students who require our service as soon as possible, but we will not compromise on our high safety standards as we recruit and train new drivers. We will continue to inform families of any updates as the situation is resolved and appreciate their understanding and cooperation in the meantime.

Transport companies are struggling to ramp up the recruitment of school bus drivers as many had switched jobs during the pandemic. Bus companies in the UAE and worldwide are rushing to fill vacant driver positions as schools resume normal to near-normal operations.

All stakeholders strive to protect the students from the effects of the shortage with an all-hands-on-deck approach. Schools and transportation companies say that as they ramp up their efforts to address the problem, hiring school bus drivers requires compliance with effective service levels, reliability, appropriate training and certifications, in addition to compliance with other established regulations.

Who can skip school?

Students no longer have the option of distance learning unless they fall under one of the three exception categories outlined by the KHDA.

Only students with chronic medical conditions can continue with distance learning, but must submit a medical report stating why they cannot attend school. Likewise, students living in a household with high-risk individuals who cannot be vaccinated are also exempt.

In addition, anyone who is outside the country and unable to return due to international travel restrictions can also opt for distance learning, provided they show relevant documents supporting it.

Nandini Sircar



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