Transport problems still plaguing rural areas
Updated: 2013-02-27 07:16
Transport safety problems continue to plague students in some rural areas, with unlicensed school buses and overloading prevalent, the Ministry of Education said on Tuesday.
More than half of all counties in China have set up licensing systems for school buses, and strict requirements for drivers, the ministry said.
This came after the central government announced a new regulation on school bus safety last April following a series of traffic accidents.
The regulation made local governments above county level responsible for the safety of school buses in their jurisdictions.
But some unlicensed school buses are still in use due to heavy demand from students in rural areas where schooling cannot be provided nearby or the provision of public transport cannot be ensured, according to the ministry.
Unlicensed school buses have also been used by kindergartens, it said.
The ministry said recruiting drivers for school buses is also a challenge because of lower salaries.
It said that in future, school bus services should be focused on rural areas where schooling cannot be provided near students' homes, to ensure there are no dropouts because of insufficient transport.
- Jin Zhu
(China Daily 02/27/2013 page4)