Parents inform Corfu Prosecutor about lack of school transportation
CORFU. Half of the children attending schools in North Corfu are without school buses - Daily road safety risk.
The North Corfu Parents and Guardians Association sent the following letter to the Court of First Instance in Corfu, the Ionian Islands Regional Governor, the Deputy Regional Governor of Corfu and the Lifelong Learning Department regarding the serious delay in the restoration of school transportation by the Regional Authority:
" It may seem that we are annoyingly persistent, but we are sending you another letter seeking a valid update and a specific timeline for the commencement of school routes that were unsuccessful.
As we mentioned in our previous letter to the Ionian Islands Regional Authority and after being informed by the principals of the North Corfu schools, the routes that started until 11 October and the ones that remained unsuccessful are as follows:
- 2nd Special Primary School-Nursery: 2 unsuccessful
- Agros Junior High & High School: 4 started, 2 unsuccessful
- Agros School Centre: 3 started, 1 unsuccessful
- Velonades School Centre: 3 started, 3 unsuccessful
- Amphipagiton Junior High School: 2 started, 1 unsuccessful
- Avliotes Primary School: 2 started
- Karousades Primary School: 1 started, 1 unsuccessful
- Karousades Junior High School: 1 started, 1 unsuccessful
- 2nd Thinalia School Centre: 2 unsuccessful
- 1st Thinalia School Centre: 3 started, 1 unsuccessful
- Thinalia Junior High School: 2 started, 1 unsuccessful
- Kassiopi Junior High School: 3 unsuccessful
- Kassiopi Primary School: 2 unsuccessful
As shown above, only 50%-55% of the school routes have started. As a result, about half of the children attending schools in North Corfu are still without buses.
In more detail, parents are struggling every day to find ways and means to take their children to and from school, transporting children by motorbikes or many children in one car, putting themselves in danger daily. They are also exposed to danger every day due to the crowds outside schools on arrival and departure, while accidents have already been reported.
Most importantly, many children are absent from their schools every day because their parents are unable to transport them. For example, many children from the 2nd Special Primary School and Nursery in Velonades have not yet been to their school since the beginning of the school year. It is inconceivable that in 2023 there are children who are not able to go to school, facing significant consequences for both themselves and their parents.
From the end of last school year until today, the Board of Directors of the Association has been constantly requesting updates from the Region. Initially (21 June), there were assurances that school transportation would begin on time for the new school year and then (1 September) we were informed of the delayed announcement of a new tender process.
The contract with the transportation providers for the period from January 2023 to June 2023 was deemed invalid and therefore could not be extended for the new school year. A new tender, as is well known, has specific procedures and stages and is time consuming.
However, as of 11 November 2023, official updates from the responsible Deputy Regional Governor included assurances that the stages of the tender process were underway and routes would be restored immediately, setting specific timelines, which were never met.
It is now 30 October 2023 and countless promises have been made and the unsuccessful routes have yet to be re-tendered. We do not understand this unjustifiable delay and we are requesting for school transportation to be restored immediately so that our children are not at risk every day and are not left at home due to parents' difficulty in getting them to school. We demand once again the self-evident right of all children to learn, to attend school every day and to be transported safely on school buses.
For the Board of Directors of the Association,
The President, Aspasia Protopsalti
The Secretary, Amalia-Penelope Goudeli"
Photo: Enimerosi archive