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Opposing new norms, private schools decide not to operate buses on Nov. 19

Special Correspondent
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Lessons to learn:Members of various private schools’ associations at the meeting in the city on Friday. — Photo: M.Moorthy
Lessons to learn:Members of various private schools’ associations at the meeting in the city on Friday. — Photo: M.Moorthy

Managements of private schools in Tiruchi, Perambalur and Ariyalur districts have announced that school buses will not be operated on November 19 to register their protest against “impractical” norms imposed by the Transport Department for transporting students.

This form of protest against the latest guidelines issued by the transport department was advocated at the meeting of the Federation of Tamil Nadu Private School Associations at Chennai recently.

However, the schools will function on the day, representatives of the private school managements conveyed at a meeting organised at Shrimati Indira Gandhi College on Friday.

The schools have issued notices to parents stating that adherence to some of the norms specified by the transport department were fraught with consequences.

For instance, having the step as low as 25 cm from the ground will cause difficulties in crossing speed-breakers and uneven surfaces on road. The deprivation of school buses will make quality education inaccessible for students living in rural parts, the managements apprehended.

The insistence of the department that only those with conductor licences can be assistants in school buses will render ineligible all who have been performing the task at present.

There are far greater advantages in having ayahs as helpers in buses especially as they could be of immense help to small kids, the private school managements reason out. They were opposed to the emphasis of the department for securing fitness certificates four times in a year. Their explanation was that this norm will debilitate them from operating the buses for several working days. The emergency exit norm that mandates creation of a 5x4 feet provision at the rear could turn detrimental to the sturdiness of the vehicle, they said.

Practice unheard of

Speakers were unhappy with the practice of transport department to withhold licence to operate buses for those institutions that were facing difficulties in getting their recognitions renewed. They also took exception to the practice of the authorities to arrest correspondents and principals of schools citing joint responsibility whenever anything goes wrong in the functioning of the institutions. The practice was unheard of in other businesses, speakers said.

The participants consisted of S. Kunjithapatham, president, Tiruchi District Matriculation and Matriculation Higher Secondary Schools’ Association; V. Govindasami, Secretary, Ariyalur District Private Schools’ Association; P. Murugesan, Secretary, Perambalur District Private Schools’ Association;

Tiruvikraman, president, Thuraiyur Private Schools Association; Soma. Rajarathinam, and Vice-President, Tiruchi District Matriculation and Matriculation School Higher Secondary Schools’ Association.

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