Minister Dennis Wiersma rides with student transporter Willemsende Koning. Photo: Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW)

Minister Dennis Wiersma (Primary and Secondary Education) drove with student transporter Willemsende Koning this week. Wiersma did this because the problems that arise in student transport have meanwhile also reached the political agenda. On Wednesday there was another parliamentary debate on the issue.

“I found it really instructive to experience what it is like to drive,” said Minister Wiersma to TaxiPro. “It was great to talk to all the children about how important this transport is to them. It is very annoying if you have to wait a long time and therefore arrive late for school and miss classes. Or worse, if you are forgotten and not picked up at all. That should improve quickly.”

Not just a job During the ride, the VVD minister was updated by driver Ron. “The difficult thing is that here too there is a major shortage of personnel, in this case suitable drivers,” says Wiersma. “Because it’s not just any job. You have to know how to best help the students along the way and at the same time, of course, also keep a close eye on the road. What matters is that these students can count on good and safe transport.”

In order to realize this, the 36-year-old minister thinks that the job of a driver must be made more attractive. “Drivers often have small contracts, which makes it an unattractive job. That should be better. I expect municipalities to work together better to offer drivers better contracts.”

Maddening Minister Dennis Wiersma says he feels the urgency, but at the same time admits that he is hand and foot tied. The municipalities are legally responsible for the implementation of student transport. “I have to get everything I want from other parties,” said Wiersma during the debate. In addition, the VVD minister points out that people are constantly pointing at each other, which he calls “maddening”.

According to the minister, the most important thing is that all students can go to school. “That is why I will soon be bringing all parties that have to solve this problem together, so that improvements can be made quickly and they can also indicate how this can be improved so that we do not continue to have this problem for years.”

“In the meantime, I want municipalities to be creative and also ensure that students come to school with emergency solutions. Municipalities can, for example, give parents a kilometer allowance if they arrange transport for their child themselves or use taxis or buses that are not normally used. The children should simply be able to go to school,” concludes the minister.

Read also:

) Room: municipality has to pay for alternative student transport Minister Wiersma is shocked by stories about student transport Parliament wants clarification from Minister Wiersma about driver shortage 36

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