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Regulating driving schools in the Sultanate...


There are certain areas of work in Oman which need to be ‎regulated. Driving schools are one among them. There are no specific rules and ‎regulations for them so far. This vocation or area ‎of work is riddled with chaos which is ‎prominently reflected in its method of ‎training and prices. This leads to ‎exploitation of those who want to learn ‎driving. They have no way out except to ‎remain patient. Those who train them ‎sometime even make fun of their hardships ‎of learning.

They go through this ordeal hoping that ‎someday they will learn to drive properly and ‎their life will be easier. But everything ‎is at the mercy of the trainer. The objective is to get a driving ‎licence and this forces many of them to remain silent. ‎

Also, the learner knows that any problem with the trainer will leave him nowhere, ‎but in the middle of a thorny road. In ‎that case, they would have to begin from zero. Therefore, their wisdom ‎says that keep silence in the pursuit of ‎the goal.‎

This situation makes it important that ‎there should be some rules and regulations ‎for driving schools, where the dealings should be civilised and there ‎should be a moral responsibility. There should be ‎evaluation by any reputed and approved ‎organisation which has full capacity to do ‎evaluation and correct them if there are any ‎faults. The authority should have the power ‎to act if the required corrections are not ‎made. This is the only way to protect ‎trainees from exploitation. At the ‎same time, this is how the trainer will get justified wages which ‎commensurate with his efforts to bring ‎quality in training process. ‎

Once I was listening to a BBC radio ‎programme. That particular episode was ‎about driving schools. During the talk, it ‎was told that there is a rule in Germany ‎that those who learn driving are trained ‎in first aid and how to help those injured ‎during road accidents as some knowledge is required to get a driving licence. ‎These things are in addition to traffic rules and regulations, awareness ‎about safe driving and other related issues. ‎

The crux of the matter is that we need to ‎regulate the profession. Without any ‎course in first aid or checking awareness ‎level, the training of driving is not ‎complete. But the situation today is ‎adverse, you would not find any trainees ‎who has no complaint about the training ‎school or the tranier. They would always ‎complain about high rate or huge advance ‎money. ‎

As far as the places where driving is ‎taught, they lack even the least ‎requirements. It is just the efforts of ‎the coach which they make to train people ‎to learn driving successfully. But the ‎task is so herculean that it is as if the ‎person is being trained to fly F-16. Both ‎the coach and the trainee have to go ‎through an ordeal for this. ‎

When I am writing this, I do not ‎generalise. There are trainers who do ‎justice with their task with full honesty. ‎They are making their personal reputation ‎better that their dealings are fair, and ‎they do their job reliably. Therefore, ‎they are not blamed for any unfair practices. ‎We feel that they should be compensated in ‎a

better way. ‎

In view of this situation, we feel that ‎there is a dire need for giving any ‎authority the responsibility to take care ‎of this profession. There should be clear ‎rules and regulations to run it. This is ‎important to improve the quality ‎of driving on roads, avoid road accidents, control the ‎behaviour of people behind the wheels ‎and make those who want to learn driving ‎fully satisfied.


Ali Al Matani

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