Student transportation must be improved: children's ombudswoman
Children's Ombudswoman Margrite Kalverboer highlighted the problems with student transportation on Pointer's Sunday broadcast. She suggests more escorts on buses who can care for children, some of whom are currently dealing with hours in traffic and crowded vehicles.
Adding people who are pedagogically trained –– which bus drivers often aren't –– could help maintain peace on board the buses, Kalverboer said. This would ensure that children arrived at school ready to learn, instead of exhausted from the ride.
"Actually, I almost only come across cases where transport is so bad for the development of the child that they can no longer perform at school," Kalverboer told Pointer. She said she receives complaints from parents regularly.
However, this solution would not be necessary for every single bus, the ombudswoman said. "But if the group is too large, or if the composition of the children does not go well together, then there should simply be someone on the bus who is not concerned with traffic, but with the children," she said.
This would be the responsibility of municipalities to organize with parents, and the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG) does not object. “The condition is that municipalities also receive the funds to bear the costs associated with this solution,” a spokesperson told Pointer.
The VNG and Kalverboer will soon discuss what can be done about the state of student transportation.