Parents ‘frustrated’: Authorities urged to look into school buses issue as students are stranded

A bus load of people in Suva. Picture: ATU RASEA

Frustrated and angry parents have called on authorities to look into the issue of stranded students because of the required 80 per cent capacity outlined as COVID safe procedures.

They said they had to fork out money for taxi fare and the financial expenses were taking a toll on them.

Colo-i-Suva villager and parent Vasita Rasuaki said her children had to catch the public bus because the school bus refused them entry.

“My children face this problem every morning and afternoon. As a result, they have to pay adult fares,” Ms Rasuaki said.

Another concerned parent, Miriama Gogo, said she had witnessed students being turned away by bus drivers and it was a sorry sight.

Ms Gogo said while students were encouraged to attend school, the treatment children received was discouraging.

This newspaper was told students from Waikete, Dravo, Naisogovau villages and Nabua settlement in Tailevu were also facing the same problem.

Waikete Village headman Emasi Kalounivalu said in the past, four school buses serviced the area.

“Now there is one bus trip,” he said.

When approached for a comment on the issue, the Ministry of Education’s permanent secretary, Anjeela Jokhan, demanded that this newspaper provide her with evidence of the claims.

She, however, said she would respond when sent pictures of stranded students on Wednesday this week.

The Fiji Times had not heard from her when this edition went to press.

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