Local self-govts need not bear expense for school buses: Govt
Alappuzha: The government has decided that the school buses need not conduct service in the expense of local self-governments. The state coordination committee of decentralized planning led by Minister for Local Administration K.T. Jaleel took the decision, which will affect more than 4000 government schools in the state.
The schools approached the local self-governments, when the school buses needed maintenance charges on a daily basis and they could not find the sufficient fund for its regular service.
Consequently, the local bodies requested the department of local administration for permission to allocate special fund for school buses and to handle the expenses.
However, the coordination committee rejected the request and decided that the local bodies need not manage the expense for school bus service. It is decided that the department cannot take the responsibility for the fuel expense, wage for the driver and other maintenance charges of the school buses, which were purchased using MLA fund, MP fund or directly by the local self-governments.
More than 50 percent schools are not conducting school bus service, as they cannot find fund for its maintenance. The drivers also are not willing to work as their payment is not done regularly. Majority of the schools run school bus using PTA fund, fund raised by the school managing committee, assistance from parents and teachers, and a fixed collection from students.
School buses have a key role in attracting children to government schools, which are under the ownership of district panchayat and other local self-governments. More than 4000 school buses were purchased for more than 4900 government schools in the state using various funds. Minister for Local Administration K.T. Jaleel said that the PTA committees have agreed to sponsor the expenditure of school buses. The local self-governments cannot bear the liability as it could be a burden on them.