Muscat: The Ministry of Education has set regulations for school transportation and rental of school buses. According to the newly-issued guidelines, the distance between the school and the house should be no shorter than two kilometres. However, the ministry of education may approve transportation for a shorter distance in exceptional cases on the requests of the directorate of education.
As per the new regulations rented school buses should have a valid registration and a vehicle operating card (VOC) issued by the ministry of transport as well as a valid comprehensive insurance covering passenger transport. The buses should be suitable for student transportation and they should be equipped with the safety standards stipulated by the ministry and must not exceed 12 years as of the date of manufacturing.
The drive of a school bus should be an Omani citizen not younger than 23 years no older than 60 years of age with a minimum of five-year experience in driving and should not be an employee at the ministry of education. The drivers should provide medical fitness certificate and they should have a clean criminal record.
In the case of a contract with more than one vehicle the owner of the vehicles should provide a valid commercial register. The owners of school transportation vehicles will be obliged to keep the vehicle well-maintained and ensure the safety of tyres.
The regulations stipulate that the driver of a school bust should be replaced by another driver except after obtaining an approval from the school principal.
As per the regulations, the drivers should apply safety measures before disembarking the vehicle most importantly to make sure that no students are left inside the vehicle and keep the vehicle ventilated and make sure that the engine is turned off.
Text by Khalid al Adawi