Kabineh Kallon Minister of Transport and Aviation
The Ministry of Transport and Aviation (MTA) in collaboration with the Ministries of Finance, Local Government and Rural Development respectively yesterday held a meeting with Heads of Local Councils and Administrators for the management of the 50 school buses at the MTA conference Hall, Youyi Building, Freetown.
According to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Brima S. B. Kebbie, the main purpose of the meeting was to discuss government directives in relation to managing the 50 school buses.
He pleaded with local council authorities and their respective management committees to handle the buses with great care and to manage them effectively and efficiently.
The buses are not enough, he said, but it is a very good start to enhance the free quality education, which is one of the flagship programs of H.E. Dr. Julius Maada Bio. ‘The school buses are going to be run on a cost recovery basis and it is expected to be launched on the 13th September, 2019.
He also said they have done a tentative distribution of the buses and that these districts should utilize these buses well as the Ministry will be going round to monitor. If the Ministry found out that these buses are not utilized well they would be transferred to other areas in the region.
In his statement, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development asked councils to send in names from their various districts for the recruitment of drivers and representative each from, Mayor of District, coordinators, CA, Women’s representatives, SLTU, youth representatives, CSOs, road safety authority, Provincial Secretary, and the Police, these names should be in by 30th August, 2019. He said these committees are going to determine the timetable and route of these buses.
The Minister of Transport and Aviation (MTA) Kabineh Kallon, said they have made a lot of effort on these buses and that they are going to be managed by regulations, and the councils would sign an MoU through MTA for proper management of the buses. He also warned that the buses are strictly for school going children, and reiterated that they should be handled properly and councils should report any problem concerning the buses with immediate effect to MTA.
Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Mamadi Gobeh Kamara also pleaded with councils to manage the buses with care and that they should look at the bigger picture irrespective of political party connection, “for the good of our school going children.”