After Etah accident, that claimed 12 innocent lives of school students and left 34 others injured when a school bus collided with a lorry, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has issued fresh guidelines to all its affiliated schools, making it mandatory for school buses to be equipped with speed governors, GPS tracking and CCTV.
In a bid to prevent accidents involving school buses and strengthen the security system and ensure safety for children, CBSE has made it compulsory for school buses to have the Global Positioning System (GPS) installed in them, which will track the location of the bus ferrying students.
According to officials, the comprehensive guidelines were issued on the directions of Union Minister for Human Resource Development Shri. Prakash Javadekar, after the Etah accident. The circular is applicable for all 18,000 CBSE-affiliated schools, including Kendriya Vidyalayas.
CBSE has divided the complete guidelines into seven major categories, including exterior and interior of the bus, manpower, facilities, permits, arrangements by school authorities and advisory to parents.
The CBSE, in its circular, stated that “The recent unfortunate instances reported in the media about callous approach by certain schools with respect to the safety of school children during transit to and fro to the school have again agitated deep concern regarding the safety of the school children. The time has come to make the schools sensitive to this serious issue and to take proactive remedial measures to ensure safe transport for school children.”
Under the exterior category of the bus, the Board said, the school buses should be painted yellow and should have the school’s name written prominently on both sides. ‘School bus’ should be written prominently on the back and front of the vehicle for buses that are owned by the institute. If it is a hired bus, “On school duty” should be clearly written.
The Board also said details such as driver’s name, address, license number, badge number and telephone number of the school or the bus owner and transport department’s helpline numbers should be displayed at prominent places inside and outside the bus in contrast colour.
Under the interior category of the bus, the Board stated, the windows of the bus should be fitted with horizontal grills with mesh wires. The school buses should be fitted with speed governors with maximum speed limit of 40 km/hr. GPS tracking and CCTV arrangement should be made compulsorily in each school bus and that shall be installed by the owner of the bus and should be in working condition all the time.
The schools have also been told to have the buses parked on campuses both while picking up or dropping off students. The guidelines also ask for at least one parent to be present in each bus to oversee the conduct of the driver and other staff. “Parents are equally responsible for the safety of their children during school journeys,” the circular read. A mobile phone will be provided to each bus to be used in an emergency situation. A transport manager and a trained lady attendant will be designated in the bus for the security of students.
The advisory guidelines by the CBSE board have come in the light of several incidents that shredded deep concern over the safety and security of children. As per the statistics, 43 children die in road accidents in India every day. According to data from the National Crime Records Bureau, over 400 children were killed in school bus related accidents nationally in 2015.
With student safety and road safety being the primary concerns, tracking school bus via GPS would be a stress reliever to all parents. The exact location of the buses will be tracked through the GPS, which will, in turn, put the bus journey under the school administration’s scrutiny.
While many parents express their acknowledgment over the CBSE advisory guidelines, some schools, however, opine that complying with these guidelines entails a huge amount of expenses on the school management.
When speaking from the parents’ point of view, making GPS and CCTV mandatory for school buses is a huge consolation. MyClassboard always puts itself in the shoes of others, making every effort to benefit the schools and parents. Prioritizing the safety of students, MyClassboard had already offered its school transportation software to schools with GPS tracking.
Many schools have already been using our software to ensure peace of mind to parents concerning their child’s safety. Parents will no longer have to be worried about their child and eagerly wait for the school bus to arrive, as the GPS tracking app of MyClassboard school transportation software helps the parents to monitor their children. The installation of security cameras in the bus provides a sense of security to the students, parents, and management further doubling the student safety.
MyClassboard had always been a step ahead in terms of technology; be it the digital transactions or vehicle tracking.