Schoolchildren ‘sweat’ in overcrowded vans


Some parents say school vans drop children late, others complain of traffic jams: SP-traffic says traffic police will launch a campaign 

By Muhammad Shahid 

PESHAWAR: Though some schools make adequate seating arrangements to transport schoolchildren, most school vans in the city are now found packed with children.

The management of various schools and parents cite numerous reasons for the overcrowded school vans. Some schools say it is not economical to ply school’s own vehicles, while some parents think the school vehicles dropped children very late.

In charge of the Transport Section at the Peshawar Public School and College, Muhammad Riaz, told Daily Times that the school had 14 vans including four private vehicles hired by the school management to help schoolchildren commute.

“Our school is semi-government, and we demand the government provide us with eight more buses, so that we meet the challenge of increasing number of students,” Riaz said, adding: “In 1995, when the Government Transport Service (GTS) was auctioned, the government gave our school the buses which are still in use.”

He said the number of students had increased manifold, but that the school needed more buses to solve the problem of over-crowded vehicles. “During the last decade, we have set up a separate and independent section for girl students from KG to 2nd year classes, but the number of buses is the same.”

Kiran Model School Principal Abid Ali Shakir said that his school plied no vehicle and that “It is not economical at the moment.” He said most of the schoolchildren belonged to the poor families, and hence could not afford the transportation charges.

Salman Ahmad of Sarki, Peshawar, said: “I drive my children to their schools, and then back home, in my car because the school van gets late by almost one hour.”

However, Khalid Hameed and Ismail, residents of Warsak road where most of the city’s private and semi-government educational institutes exist, complained of traffic jams. “Most parents pick and drop their children at schools in their own vehicles, instead of school vans, this is why the residents of Warsak Road area suffer due to traffic jams on a daily basis,” they said, adding: “There will be no traffic jams, if the school vans carry students to their homes.”

Nasrullah Afridi, President of the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) at the Hayatabad Special Education Complex, says that the schools management and parents should discuss the problem of overcrowded school vehicles. “Our institution arranges seat-to-seat adjustment to pick and drop students,” he said.

Peshawar Traffic Police Superintendent (SP) Captain Romail told Daily Times that the traffic police would launch a campaign within the next 12 days, to educate drivers and school authorities about the traffic rules.

“After the campaign, we will take action against those violating traffic rules and getting their vehicles overcrowded,” Captain Romail said, adding that the traffic police had begun preparation of signboards for the proposed traffic rules’ campaign.


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