Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones??
Government has decided not to move ahead with legislation which would have prevented children from travelling to and from school on Private Service Vehicles (PSVs).
This was reiterated yesterday by Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, after holding talks with members of the Association of Private Service Operators (APTO) at his Constitution Road, St. Michael office.
According to Mr. Jones, the Ministry was trying to work with APTO to bring about a number of changes which would make education officials more comfortable with allowing this island’s children to travel on PSVs.??
"We had looked at implementing an outright ban, via legislation, on students using PSVs.?? We have relooked the idea, particularly in the short term, as we seek to work with APTO to bring about the kind of deportment, discipline, respect for law and respect for authority that would ensure the safety and security of our young charges," he stated.
In noting that discussions with APTO would continue over the next few weeks, the Education Minister lauded the organisation for its initiatives to improve service.?? These include training for PSV operators and the implementation of a Seal of Excellence to reward conscientious drivers.??
"I am urging them to continue the process of operating buses under the Seal of Excellence; we [the Ministry] support it.?? It says that persons who drive and conduct those vehicles adhere to and embrace a code of behaviour that education officials can support," Mr. Jones pointed out.
However, he was quick to admit that students themselves bore some responsibility for their behaviour, and that total blame for their deviance should not be placed on PSV operators. "They [students] must see education as so pivotal to their own development that they would not do anything on or off the buses to fracture their
pursuit of education…they should be aware that encouraging drivers to play music that is against the law is not in keeping with good standards of behaviour,"?? the Minister noted.
President of APTO, Morris Lee, assured education officials that his organisation was committed to ensuring that it provided quality service to the public.?? He said he was in full support of random drug and alcohol testing, as well as the use of the breathalyzer test for PSV operators.
"We want to continue to be seen as partners in the development of public transport… We want to ensure that persons comply with the law of the land and to warn potential lawbreakers that law enforcement officers are going to be watching them,’ Mr. Lee firstname.lastname@example.org