Student’s And Their Coops
On my recent drive during the college rush hour here in the Capital, I noticed something strange when it came to a student bus on a traffic signal. To my surprize the bus was crowded like a chicken coop with heads poping out of the window. The reason I was surprized is that in Islamabad, this is a rare sight, and for me it was the first, or atleast I noticed it for the first time. I was of the opinion earlier that the student transport is pretty much sufficent here and usually the buses have adequate space for children, especially the school buses. However, it made me ponder if the situation was getting worse and if there actually was a transport shortage.
So I decided to find out for myself. I talked to a few students on the road, about the transportation availabilty in their schools and the responses were quite shocking. Most came back with complaints that their schools, including the private and the public ones were facing acute transport shortages. Cost of private transport is too high for most students’ parents to afford, so they have to opt for either the public transport or the crowded school buses. If they have to use public transport, they usually have to wait for quite long on the bus stands, and the situation is particularly worse for female students.
For public schools and colleges most of the buses available are in poor shape and need urgent repairs. The colleges are in need of funds for repairing the out-of-order buses and purchasing new ones to ease the misery of their students. On further digging up the issue, the results were even more disturbing.
Just to give you some stats :
Islamabad Girls’ College has seven buses for its 3,800 students. Federal Government Post Graduate College H-8 has two buses for the 1,700 students. FG College for Men H-9 has three buses.The FG Post Graduate College for Women F/ 7-2 has nine nine buses for 4,000 students. Federal Government College for Women F/7-4 has only 4 operational buses.
With the lack of any wothwhile public transport system in place, and with the growing population of the city, I don’t think that the three decade old infrastructure is good enough to fullfil current demands.