The matter of how to transport students after reopening the schools is discussed.

A special discussion on the transporting school children after reopening the schools that were closed due to the spread of corona virus, was held yesterday (16) with the leadership of The Minister of Education Dallas Alahapperuma and The Minister of Transport Mahinda Amaraweera with the participation of Public Transport Authority, Private Bus Owner’s Union, Sri Lanka Transport Board, All Ceylon School Van owner’s Union and some other private transport union representatives. 

The minister of education emphasized at this occasion that all the sections of the society have experienced a certain retreat in the face of the prevailing specific circumstances and therefore this issue must be looked at through the children’s perspective prioritizing the social requirement rather than earning profits. The steps must be taken to provide transport facilities to the children especially following all the health guidelines provided by the health authorities including maintaining the personal distance.   

The important matter raised by the representatives of the transport unions was the problem of time for keeping children as the ending of schools happens in three occasions and therefore the proposal to limit it to two occasions. All transport union representatives expressed their consent to follow the health guidelines such as to limit the number of students only to the available seats, maintaining the social distance, sterilization of the interior of vans and make it compulsory to wear facemasks.   

The Minister Alahapperuma further stated that since the reopening of schools will be implemented in four stages, it will be studied the process of practical way of transporting students according to the instructions of health authorities and the necessary changes to the decisions taken at this occasion will be done according to the identified problems in the implementing stage after considering the suggestions of the transport representatives. The ministry of education and the ministry of transport will have further discussions on this matter and take decisions accordingly. The minister also stated that the solutions must be given to this issue while looking at it through the angle of children and taking them as the first measurement.    

Several officials including the Secretary of the Ministry of Education Mr. N.H.M. Chithrananda, State Secretary of Education Mr. Ranjith Chandrasekara and the Secretary of the Ministry of Transport Mr. H.M. Gamini Senevirathna participated in this occasion.