Sharjah: Up to 1,200 bus drivers and supervisors from both public and private schools in Sharjah have undergone specialised training in safety protocols for transporting children as they prepare for the upcoming school year commencing on August 28.
The second edition of the school bus safety’ workshop, titled ‘School Bus Safety Golden Rules’ was organised by the Child Safety Department (CSD), an affiliate of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, at Al Qasimia University. The event witnessed a 33.3 per cent increase in participation compared to the previous year.
Representatives of Sharjah Police, Emirates Transport and Sharjah Civil Defence led the workshop, highlighting best transportation safety practices, including while boarding and de-boarding.
Participants were also guided on measures they can take to enhance the safety infrastructure within the buses.
Nahla Hamdan, Deputy Director, CSD, said: “This awareness workshop is an important annual event, and a reminder that safety education is not a one-time learning. It must be approached as a guiding aid that enables the learners to continually improve and refine their skills. In our ever-evolving world, best practices in children’s safety, particularly in the context of their school commutes, continue to transform.”
She added: “Through this annually organised training session, we seek to fully empower all stakeholders — drivers, supervisors, school administrations, and parents — responsible for monitoring and executing this essential task, which ensuring that our children continue to learn and grow safely.”
The workshop’s speakers laid special emphasis on critical safety aspects, such as respecting speed limits, abiding by traffic laws, and following proper channels and procedures while dealing with an accident or fire incident.
The child protection hotline number to report any risks to the safety of children in Sharjah is 800700.
The workshop coinciding with the 2023-2024 school year is part of CSD’s comprehensive yearly campaign, ‘Their Safety First’. The inaugural edition of the workshop was launched last year under the theme ‘The Golden Rules of Riding the School Bus.’
'Look before you lock'
It also follows CSD’s social experiment carried out in August under the slogan ‘Look before you lock,’ which cautioned parents, teachers and caregivers against the dangers of leaving children unattended in closed vehicles, particularly during the summer.
The workshop, which was also attended by the drivers and commute managers of the various affiliated bodies of the Rubu’ Qarn Foundation for Leaders and Innovators, concluded with CSD presenting partners and trainers with certificates of appreciation, acknowledging their efforts and dedication to child safety, and contributing to achieving the department’s goals of building a safe and well-aware community on child safety.