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Education Ministry to Change School Bus Design After Increased Accidents

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Education Ministry to Change School Bus Design After Increased Accidents

In a parliamentary session on Wednesday, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu addressed the perilous nature of current school bus designs, emphasizing their connection to alarming accidents.

Machogu disclosed that vehicles currently utilized as school buses on the roads are not intended for such purposes. He remarked, “We take the chassis of a lorry and then say you want to buy a bus. The effect of this is that when an accident occurs, chances of it killing the students are high.”

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Expanding on the issue, the CS stressed the importance of designing school buses for comfort and clarified that they should not be repurposed from vehicles used for transporting luggage.

Machogu revealed an ongoing plan within the Ministry of Transport to introduce a distinct bus design, differing from lorries. However, he expressed frustration, noting a hindrance caused by an ongoing court case.

“The ministry was stopped from implementing that, and I am aware that some of the school buses, including those which are being used here, are not anywhere near the standards required. This is a conversation we should have as a country,” he added.

Calling for support from stakeholders in the education sector, the CS urged collaboration to prevent student casualties in road accidents. He also appealed to the court for expeditious handling of the case.

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Nominated MP Kosgei Jackson Kipkemoi had initially raised concerns, asserting that the ministry endangered students’ lives by permitting these buses on the roads. Kipkemoi highlighted global standards emphasizing the need for bus frames to withstand various loads and impacts, particularly crucial for the safety of vulnerable passengers like children.

Tragically, on Sunday, three pupils lost their lives in a Kiharu, Murang’a County accident involving a school bus carrying 43 people. This incident contributes to a series of fatal accidents involving school buses, including a March 2023 accident around Kayole in Naivasha, where a Pwani University bus led to over 14 fatalities.

As of February 20, data from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) reported 649 lives lost in road accidents. The call for urgent action to address school bus safety concerns remains paramount.

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Education Ministry to Change School Bus Design After Increased Accidents

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