It does seem a convoluted way of getting free rides for students in primary and secondary schools. Do the teachers have to first cash a cheque, then sort out the cash and give to each child according to needs? That is rather complex. Why can't they just give student cards and drivers clip them and then the drivers send an invoice to the relevant government department. I am sure teachers don't want to spend hours each week giving out money to students. And... how many students will use the money for other purposes on the way home?
Do children who choose to walk to school get some pocket money for wearing out their shoe leather? Those who go in boats etc. etc.?
Govt to look at free bus fare concerns
Publish date/time: 22/10/2009 [11:18]
The government committee which is overseeing the free bus fare programme for students travelling in school buses is expected to meet today to look at various issues that have arisen since Wednesday.
Right now the system is that the Finance Ministry gives funds to the Education Ministry and then the money is deposited in school accounts. The schools then have to distribute the bus fare daily to students who travel in school buses. Suggestions have been made that the process can be streamlined.
One of the suggestions is that all bus companies submit their audited accounts over the previous years which will clearly show the trend of how much income is received by bus companies through their school bus trips. It is suggested that the amount will be consistent and that can be used by the government to pay the bus companies.
Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office, Lt Colonel Pio Tikoduadua is expected to comment after the committee meeting today.
Meanwhile, the Fiji Bus Operators Association President Zain Dean has raised serious concern after they received information that some bus drivers are overcharging students. Dean said they want this issue to be addressed now and drivers and bus companies should be mindful of the government initiative.