Scales favour students and PSVs
DIFFERENT SECTORS OF THE COMMUNITY have been supportive of the ban placed on students in respect of using PSV vehicles to and from school. This matter took its rise from the reported unacceptable behaviour and other infelicities occurring on the minibuses. In addition there was grave concern about the unsettled disposition of the students on arrival at school having been exposed to unsavoury lyrics and music.
An unwanted culture developed.
It is therefore surprising to learn of a seeming reversal of this policy and one is led to wonder whether principals et al who supported the earlier ban had done an about-turn. One also understands that the burden on the Transport Board which had showed a willingness to undertake the task, proved more onerous than anticipated.
Not only was the Transport Board hard-pressed to maintain its mandate of getting students to school on time but also was the challenge to an inconvenience of pensioners in making their early sojourn to The City and elsewhere, since they now had to compete with other peoples using flexi-time to report for work.
There can be no doubt that the fact that the students travelled free on the Transport Board buses on production of suitable identification would have negatively impacted revenue, an undesirable feature at this time of depression. How severe the erosion of revenue was is unknown but given the squeaking of PSV operators, it is reasonable to assume it was felt.
The point at issue therefore is whether the Transport Board’s inability to service students and the public simultaneously was becoming overbearing or in the absence of the likelihood of Government being able to purchase additional buses annually, as is the board’s wont, made the proposition a non-starter?
Whatever the case, Government needs to let parents, guardians and the wider community know what are its medium to long-term plans for the future. We just cannot run the risk of exposing our children to a culture pregnant with vice and other disruptive practices that can in no way provide a healing balm for the already troubled breasts of parents and guardians.
Should this decision prove to rekindle the earlier disgusting behaviour which had marginally improved, what is our plan of action? Do we know the accurate number of buses required to satisfy student transport? Would it be more expensive to contract a number of vehicles to undertake the task of taking the student population to and from school?
All in all, given the known propensity for the breeding of gangs in the school system; the increasing attraction to illegal substances; the rising temptation to violence and the reported incidences of sexual misconduct, it behoves us to do everything to discourage conduct unbecoming of the student population, if at all possible by minimising time spent getting from home to school and the reverse.
Gone are the days when prefects were revered; when school uniform bore a hallowed respect and when the fear of a report to the principal or parent of misconduct on the highway was seen as a disaster.