Find a solution to transportation for rural school children — Vaz

Friday, May 24, 2019

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PORTLAND, Jamaica — Member of Parliament for Eastern Portland, Ann-Marie Vaz, is calling on the ministries of transport and education to collaboratively work on a solution to the perennial problem of adequate transportation for rural school children.

Earlier this week, 23 students of Titchfield and Port Antonio High schools were injured and one killed when a minibus careened over a precipice in Portland.

Vaz, who is the MP for the constituency in which Titchfield High School is located, argued that it is unacceptable for just anyone with a public passenger vehicle to be authorised to transport school children..

According to Vaz, the issue goes beyond road safety and just Eastern Portland.

“A solution must be found that can be replicated across rural Jamaica. This isn't just a problem for Eastern Portland. With the number of missing children continually rising and the number ruthless acts of violence that we are seeing committed against children, we must have greater scrutiny over those who are allowed to transport children to and from schools using public passenger vehicles,” she said.

She suggested that drivers wishing to transport students must have a clean record, drive safely, be registered with the Ministry of Education and have police background checks, no outstanding cases before the courts, or traffic tickets.

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