Muscat: Thousands of schoolchildren will be protected by a new agreement between Occidental Petroleum and the Ministry of Education to provide almost 2,000 buses with safety and tracking equipment as part of the Darb Al Salamah project.
According to a senior member of the Oman Road Safety association, this is a welcome development.
“This is an excellent agreement”, the member told Times of Oman. “We have all seen the incidents where children are unfortunately left behind in school buses and are injured or lose their lives. This is a step forward in preventing these incidents, even if it only covers a part of Muscat.”
In December, the Ministry of Education revealed plans to equip 6,500 buses in the Sultanate with electronic tracking systems by the end of the academic year.
Ali Al Jahwari, Director General of the General Directorate of Education in Muscat and the general supervisor of the “Darb Al Salamah” project, said, “The ministry hopes to add 1,500 buses to the service by the end of next semester and to target 5,000 buses by the end of the academic year 2019-2020.”
A new safety campaign to raise awareness of traffic rules in schools hopes to reach over two thousand young people in Wilayat Jalan Bani Bu Ali in South Al Sharqiyah governorate.
The campaign aims to teach students about traffic and to equip them with the skills to use public transport and the roads safely.
Mariam Al Sunidi, the head of Belad Bani Bu Ali School said: “The awareness campaign by our school’s traffic awareness ambassadors has already reached 1,200 students in Wilayat schools, and work is continuing to achieve the campaign goal of spreading traffic awareness among 2,000
She added: “The awareness programme includes instructing students on what to do if they fall asleep on the bus and get locked in, the importance of wearing your seat belt and how to cross the street safely.”
The training workshops are offered by the school in cooperation with Jalan Bani Bu Ali police station, where the first agent, Khalid Al-Mardi, provides the students with road safety guidance.