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Dh20 per hour fine on parents failing to pick up kids after bus drop

Bus official says penalty to cover cost of supervising kids after they are returned to school

  • By Sharmila Dhal, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 23:10 September 12, 2012
  • XPRESS

  • Image Credit:
  • NE-090516-SCHOOLTRANSPORT 16MAY2009 NEWS SCHOOL TRANSPORT Gems Wellington School celebrate the School Transport Services Award. Dubai UAE. STORY BY FAISAL MASUDI PHOTO BY ABDEL-KRIM KALLOUCHE

Dubai: Parents of children studying in GEMS schools who fail to pick up their wards dropped off by the school bus will have to pay a fine of Dh20 an hour.

This charge is to cover the supervision of their wards in school where they are returned if they are not picked up.

Parents of kids studying in Grades 1 to 3 told XPRESS that they were asked to sign an undertaking to this effect by the transport provider, School Transport Services (STS). “Basically, we are made to agree that if our child is returned to the school, we will pay Dh20 per hour as a contribution towards the cost of STS providing ‘adult care at the school to oversee the safety of our child’,” said a mother.

She said: “This is ridiculous. Of course we would take care to be at the bus stop on time to pick up our children. But what if we miss the bus by a few minutes or the bus comes early?”

Another parent said: “Not only do we have to go all the way to school to pick up our children if we happen to miss the bus, we are being monetarily fined as well. It’s almost like a ticking meter when they talk of Dh20 per hour.”

According to the undertaking, parents have to specify where they would like their child to be dropped off and be physically present or arrange for an authorised person to be physically present to receive the child. If these and other conditions are not met, the child is returned to the school from where the parents are responsible to collect them. It is for this wait period in school that the hourly Dh20 is charged.

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M.L. Augustine, STS Managing Director, said: “The primary objective of STS is to transport all children safely. With that in mind, all children below Grade 6 must be met by a responsible adult. For children from Grades 4 to 6, parents can complete a form that states they are happy for their child to leave the bus unaccompanied. For Grades 1 to 3, we have given various options to parents and they too need to sign a form. If this is not signed, we have a high duty of care to ensure that the child is met by a responsible adult who has a parent ID card issued by STS. Without a parent’s written permission, we cannot leave a child unattended, neither can we slow the scheduled drop-off as this then impacts other families waiting down the route.”

He said: “The charge made to parents for ensuring a child is safe and looked after by a responsible person, until such a time a parent can collect the child, is to cover costs only. We provide this as an emergency service to parents and do not expect a high level of use. We have been insisting on this for students up to Grade 4 earlier. However, we have started issuing the parent ID now to make it easier for parents to authorise anyone to collect their children.”

Comments (12)

Your comments
  1. Added 13:30 September 13, 2012

    Wow another way of miniting money....how much more these people can get greedy for money ...in the name of education & now in the name of safety....very dishearteneing

    Anonymus, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 13:11 September 13, 2012

    It has always been very clear from day one that they exist solely for the pursuit of profit. Soon they will start charging rental for utilizing the tables and chairs in the classrooms if they don't start charging rent for the classrooms first. Their standard reply would be if you don't like you can leave, no one is forcing you to go to them.

    Shakib, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 12:23 September 13, 2012

    there can be a better plan for the sake of Kids: If parents fail to pick up kids on given time, charge 100 AED drop the kid in the flat on 1st time, charge 200, 2nd time, charge 400 on 3rd time in a month.. charge 500 if no one is in the flat [leave a note at the door] plus 50 AED food cost 50 AED for supervision, inform the matter to school...parents, school, transport company meeting, after 3 violation, let parents sign an undertaking and pay 50% of transportation fee of full term as a fine or the transport provider will not pick up the child any more.

    Mohammad, yousaf2good@hotmail.com, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 12:13 September 13, 2012

    Both parents and the transport company missing the plight of the kids... what will happen to the child who's parents are not there to pick her/him up and he/she goes all the way back to school all alone completing the entire route of the buss and than waiting in the school, hungry, exhausted, tired and emotionally destroyed. For God's sake bring down yourself to level 1, 2 & 3 kids and think and then decide, keep the kids in the loop while making decisions on their behalf.

    Mohammad, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 11:35 September 13, 2012

    I know few parents will resist against this fee.. but imagine if we are late and the child gets lost on the streets... better return to school and some one responsible enough looking after him... AED 20/hour once in 6 months does not worth more than my child's safety, If I missed the bus...I have to pay and not let my child suffer.. Bear in mind SAFETY FIRST.

    Muhammad Ali, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 11:32 September 13, 2012

    Dhs 20/- is too less. If the bus come early is the duty of the driver to wait for the one who is authorised to receive the ward. To pick the ward on time should be given priority than any other things. Long waiting of bus at drop points can cause traffic jams and sometimes invite traffic fines also which some companies deduct from the driver's salary.

    Kumar, Duabi, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 09:39 September 13, 2012

    Another way for fund raising .

    shibu, sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 09:27 September 13, 2012

    I think these parents are asking the wrong questions. Why is there a sub-contractor for transport? With as much as people pay the school they make enough money after paying over head that they should all be an entity...not different entities. And the fact that they would charge extra? I could safely assume that schools not only over charge for education but for a bus drive too. Now they want to charge extra for watching a child? It's your JOB as a teacher, principle to not only educate but make sure they are safe.

    Gabriel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 09:25 September 13, 2012

    The transport providers speak about fines...for caring children.. But what do they have to say ...when they keep parents waiting, in the hot sun for around half an hour to drop the children and pick up children , when the school buses come around half an hour late in the morning and afternoon.....should they pay us a fine also...?????? for keeping us waiting.....?????

    anju, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 09:24 September 13, 2012

    Dear, Educational Insituttuions Please please stop this kind of Money making policeis. Every hour you guys are using your brain how to gather more money from a helpless parents rathar than giving quality education. Education should be free of cost just like in other Europian Countries.

    George, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

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