Abu Dhabi: After my son's death many parents told me they stopped sending their children to school on the school bus and made alternative arrangements for their travel, said Shabin Sreedharan, the father of four-year-old Aatish who died on a school bus.
He spoke to Gulf News on Tuesday after visiting Abu Dhabi Educational Zone (ADEZ) officials who summoned him to explain the action taken against the school for violating the rules on the safety and security of children.
Aatish died on April 24 after being left locked in his school bus for three hours in the morning.
"I lost my child and nothing can compensate for my family's suffering," said Sreedharan. "But now I am concerned about the nightmare of thousands of parents who fear about the safety of their school-going children. Many of them told me they have started to make their children go to bed early at night so that they will not sleep on the school bus the next day."
He added he and his wife were contemplating taking legal action to seek compensation.
"The bus driver left Aatish behind on the bus for three hours and found him later in a very serious condition," said a statement issued by the Ministry of Education (MoE) on Monday.
The driver told Gulf News on Tuesday he asked the conductor repeatedly whether all children had got off the bus. He and his transportation company's manager said they were unaware of a MoE rule that a school supervisor has to check the bus to ensure that it is empty.
The Abu Dhabi Education Zone (ADEZ) confirmed the Dh5,000 fine imposed on Merryland Kindergarten (MK) was based on a MoE bylaw regarding school fines.
According to Dr Maryam Al Ali, Director of Commission for Private Schools at the MoE, a school is closed down only if the following two offences have been committed, licensing issues and an inappropriate school building.