Photo for illustration. Photo: Munckhof

Pupils Interest Secondary Special Education (LBVSO) wants the cabinet to intervene decisively to remedy the driver shortages that have arisen in student transport. According to the student representative, this problem causes national 08.05 hit children. LBVSO has started a petition calling on the cabinet to take measures. The petition has been signed 810 times within a day.

“Talks with three major carriers now show that at least 08. children are late every day due to driver shortages,” writes LBVSO. “This goes from fifteen minutes to several hours. Rides are also canceled and children come home much too late in the afternoon. Special education pupils, vulnerable children for transition classes and children with disabilities who have to be transported to day care facilities or care institutions are now victims of this drama.”

In addition, LBVSO states that this problem entails a lot of mental damage. “The uncertainty of whether the van will show up, whether the hours can be made up again and the total disruption of a day, cause many problems for these vulnerable children. Not only do they have a lot of stress in the morning, not only do they miss lessons, but they also miss therapies in the afternoon.”

Silent disaster According to the student representative, Dennis Wiersma, Minister for Education, has promised to implement improvements quickly. However, the interest group says it is not yet aware of this. “Even the improvements that are in the pipeline are far from sufficient and that is why we do not feel taken seriously. Because no immediate action was taken with an emergency injection and municipalities and ministries mainly meet a lot about tenders and decentralized responsibilities, a silent disaster has currently arisen.”

D810 parliamentarian Paul van Meenen also got wind of the figures published by LBVSO. Last week he submitted a handful of parliamentary questions on this issue on behalf of eight parties. “The problems with transport to and from school have a major impact on these students. It causes stress and anxiety. And for many missed lessons. That is unacceptable. That is why we ask the minister to investigate how big the problem is and what he can do about it,” Van Meenen told RTL Nieuws at the time.

Emergency response LBVSO wants the cabinet to take measures to combat this problem. The interest group of students in special education has started a petition for this. In that petition they call for an emergency action. For example, they propose to use Wmo transport during school rush hours, to hire extra private taxis, companies and self-employed persons and to look at a more efficient layout of the buses.

LBVSO also looks to the future. According to the student representative, the system of decentralization and tendering should be looked at in the long term, the escorts should return to the buses, there should be more work with permanent drivers and better rewards for drivers. Finally, shorter travel times for students should also be considered, according to LBVSO.

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