Tuesday 16.07.2024 ΚΕΡΚΥΡΑ

3,000 pupils in Corfu without school buses

05 Sep 2022 / 23:38

CORFU. Schools start without school buses - Parents are responsible for the children΄s transportation, at least for now.

While this school year is about to start with books and teachers already in place, the issue of transporting about 3,000 pupils to and from their schools remains unresolved.
The pupils will return to schools on Monday 12 September without school buses. For now and until the routes begin, the parents will have to transport their children to the schools themselves with all that this implies for the family planning.
The responsible services of the Ionian Islands Region are trying to catch up, but until now they have not received all the data from the Education Department in order to record the needs, to draw up the routes and put the transportation of the pupils out to tender.
The Finance Committee
It is worth noting that the issue of awarding the transportation of primary and secondary pupils for the school year 2022-2023 was discussed at the Finance Committee meeting on 2 September, ten days before the new school year begins.
"The Regional Authority is aware of the issue and in 2019 it carried out a major tender process of more than €5 million for 2020 and 2021. Now it is mobilising the education mechanism in order for it to send the data so that the transportation of pupils can begin without problems," said the Deputy Governor for Public Health and Welfare Melita Andrioti.
From the beginning
The amendment of the decision of the Ministers of Finance, Education and Interior on the "transportation of public school pupils by the Regions" changed the situation, since the extensions of the contracts are not valid anymore and the tender procedure had to be carried out from the beginning.
"The Ionian Islands Region will make new transport contracts and is in the process of carrying out the tender as early as possible. I see a delay. However, it assured us that they are making every effort to ensure that there will be buses available as soon as possible," the Ionian Islands Director of Education Petros Aggelopoulos told ERT Corfu, stressing that it concerns about 6,500 pupils with more than 150 daily routes. Of the 6,500 pupils, about 3,000 are going to school by bus and the rest with other means, such as taxi.
It will take some time
However, even if the online tender for the project is advertised immediately, it has to remain on the Region's website for 10 days. The Tender Committee would then have to meet and the result would have to be approved by the Finance Committee, which means that it will take some time before buses for the transportation of pupils are available. And all of this assuming, of course, that the tender does not end up being unsuccessful due to the increase in fuel prices.