Muscat: The Ministry of Education said it has closely followed reports circulated on social media regarding the school transport across the Sultanate of Oman. The ministry affirmed its keenness to provide a convenient educational environment for the students.
In a statement, the Ministry of Education clarified that it had managed to secure financial allocations in coordination with the Ministry of Finance to the tune to RO 3.9 million for the provision of an additional 650 school buses to meet the increasing number of students for the 2022-2023 academic year as well as improve the condition of school transport by renting more modern buses in a number of governorates.
Stemming from the ministry’s keenness to enable the successful bidders to deliver on their commitment, it gives them ten days to buy the buses and equip them with the required specifications. However, many of the successful bidders were faced by the issue of the lack of the required bus models as per the tender specifications. After ascertaining that the original successful bidder has failed to provide the required buses within the specified period of time, the ministry becomes obliged to turn to the next bidder, the statement said.
With regard to the school transport situation at Al Warith Ibn Kaab School for boys (10-12) in the Wilayat of Al Suwaiq in North Al Batinah Governorate, the ministry clarified that this school has recently been supplied with two more school buses one of them is already operational while the other bus is still pending as the citizen is yet to install safety equipment required by the tender terms. When it becomes operational after a short term the other bus would improve the transport situation at the school.
The school buses in question is under the category of school buses that are currently being substituted by the ministry in a bid to better school transport in return for an increase in the contract value to RO 600 per month, the ministry said in the statement adding that the number mentioned by the bus driver is inaccurate and does not represent the actual number of student transported by the bus.
The ministry said that it has signed interim contracts for a number of schools as a temporary solution to the issues that may face some of the successful bidders and the delay they may experience in obtaining the exact model stipulated in the tender specifications.
At the end of the statement, the Ministry of Education affirmed its keenness to improve the conditions of the school transport and enhance the safety of school buses according to the available financial resources.