ISLAMABAD: A total of 380,987 students in Rawalpindi are without transport facility have to go through an uphill task daily while travelling from institutions to home and vice versa.
Having the population of 2.098 million people and also known as city of schools it could not convince the authorities concerned to arrange some decent transport facility for the government schoolchildren and they daily have to go through an ordeal to manage their travelling.
An official of education development office told APP that in the whole Punjab not a single bus is provided for pick and drop service to the schools except a few colleges.
According to official 2014 public schools census data, Rawalpindi district had a total of 1,230 primaries, 316 middle, 365 secondary and 40 higher secondary schools.
In Federal Capital, the previous government had provided 200 buses, but its twin city remained deprived of such a facility, he mentioned.
This is quite heartening to see young children standing on van stops in early mornings, waiting for local transport, Shakeela Asghar, mother of a child shared the agony with this scribe.
“I, therefore, have to hire services of a private school van which costs me much, but it is even more painful to see a child sitting in a cramped vehicle,” she said.
Tasneem Shuja another dweller of the city said private van drivers do not wait for students and leave them if they get a little late, following which parents had to drop their child to school even after paying a hefty amount on the pick & drop service.
“Moreover, they charge us for summer vacations doubling our worries as we have to pay in three folds,” she said.
Abid Ali stated that his nine-year-old daughter was studying in a public sector school and he himself had to drop and pick from the school, while but his 12-year-old son was using public transport for going to school, which is quite worrisome as local van drivers were infamous for their unsuitable behaviour.
“My father is a fish-vendor and cannot afford to transport expenses for me so I use local bus service to reach my college”, Naveed Ali, who lives in Gujar Khan and studies in a Rawalpindi college.
Most of the students are compelled to travel in miserable conditions sometimes climbing with public transports and sometimes sitting on their roofs, he added.
Waheed Malik said he abandoned his education due to transport issues, adding that his mother did not allow him to travel on buses in the insecure environment.
Shiza Mehmood a senior professor in a public sector college said proper transport arrangements for students were need of the hour as it would help them better focus on their studies.
She urged upon the authorities concerned to provide the transport facility to students of public sector educational institutions, besides plying special buses for those who are studying in private sector institutions, with an objective to provide a level-playing field to all students irrespective of their financial status.