Safety concerns, high bus fees and heavy school bags among reasons cited by parents for driving children to school

Safety concerns, high bus fees and heavy school bags among reasons cited by parents for driving children to school

Red Swastika School, Parents

16/1/2022 5:11:00 PM

Safety concerns, high bus fees and heavy school bags among reasons cited by parents for driving children to school

SINGAPORE — Safety concerns, high school bus fares and heavy school bags were among some of the reasons cited by parents here for choosing to brave traffic congestion and drive their children to school instead of letting them take the school bus, public transport or walk there instead.

, the situation of long car queues and traffic congestion outside the gates of many schools also came under the spotlight after a Bentley car was caught on video inching towards a security guard outside Red Swastika School in Bedok North last Tuesday. A

According to the Union of Security Employees, the car had a valid label to enter the school but had cut the queue of cars waiting to enter that morning. It was stopped by the security officer and a school staff member from entering the compound.One parent whom TODAY spoke to, Ms Iris Sim-Glasscoe, said that she “does not trust drivers in the morning” and was worried for her children’s safety when they cross the roads or take public transport.

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High Bus Fees ✅ Still got lot cheaper than maintaining a car ma!! Agree to a certain extent. Bags here are ridiculously heavy--my daughter's is often easily 25% of her body weight. Dangerous to have that on a bicycle with other people around. Outside major metro areas public transport to schools is often not great.

Why are school bags so heavy with this digital age? Wonder if the 1980s or earlier school bag is much lighter. Parents , today children are spoil, if you don't create a traffic jam ,ok loh. If you really think you love your child so much FLY the child to school after all you think you are so RICH.right.

car is less expensive and oil nonsense Safety? Blame the vehicle users on the road, robbers, kidnappers etc High bus fees? Blame the commercial operators Heavy school bags? HBL lor…. Most children allocated schools in Singapore stay within a 1 km radius. We walked instead of driving to reduce jam. Keeping a regular car is akin to keeping a mistress or mister. Expensive and needs upkeeping.

can afford to buy car yet complain high bus fees ~ How about drivers of 2 seater cars and sports cars. Why do they drive at all? They should be taking public transport. As compared to school kids they’re clearly of age to take public transport!

Employers may find it hard to look after well-being, safety of maids if they live out: MOMWhat a joke. MOM is treating helpers like children and potential criminals. Disgusting. Helpers are human beings for f. sake and the most basic human right is to have a private life. Why SG need so many maids? I think SG is the only country that need so many maids. Main reason is high costs of living. Need dual income to sustain livelihood. Sad... oh come on

BS. These problems were also faced by parents back then. Yet, they didnt drove their kids to school. These parents are just ridiculous. How did they grow up then? Were their parents the same? When the kids are home , you make time for them to bond not in the car. You need to let your children grow up and instil confidence and trust.

Parents, schools get creative to beat school run traffic chaosWhen the Pulitzer Prize for the ST for this top-notch investigative journalism? Let them take public transport, no private car or taxi, especially higher level say maybe P3 up...? Lets welcome the 10M population.. lol

Half naked woman throws killer litters out from 3rd floor flat, including baby cot & potted plants - The Independent Singapore NewsAmong the items the woman threw over the balcony were potted plants, a bag filled with pieces of paper, a baby cot and other killer litters.

Woman carrying child while riding Foodpanda delivery motorcycle moves netizens - The Independent Singapore NewsThe mother strapped her child on a carrier wrapped around her chest before getting on a motorcycle equipped with a Foodpanda delivery bag.

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S'pore businessman wrongly identified as Bentley driver in Red Swastika School incidentNeo said that he has received about 200 calls and messages asking whether he was really the Bentley driver. They both dont look the same Chaiknees privilege The worst people on this story are the snitch who took & posted the video; and Mothersnitch who relayed it. Welcome to Snitchapore: a businessman who got nothing to do with it got stalked, a driver who got angry got an army of losers trying to destroy his life etc.

Parents whom TODAY spoke to on Sunday (Jan 16) added that driving their children to school also allowed their kids more time to sleep in and gave parents precious time to bond with their children. Apart from the abuse faced by security guards , the situation of long car queues and traffic congestion outside the gates of many schools also came under the spotlight after a Bentley car was caught on video inching towards a security guard outside Red Swastika School in Bedok North last Tuesday. A 61-year-old male driver was arrested on the same day. According to the Union of Security Employees, the car had a valid label to enter the school but had cut the queue of cars waiting to enter that morning. It was stopped by the security officer and a school staff member from entering the compound. Following the incident, the practice of parents driving their children to school was criticised by some as mollycoddling their children, rather than helping them to become independent. SAFETY CONCERNS One parent whom TODAY spoke to, Ms Iris Sim-Glasscoe, said that she “does not trust drivers in the morning” and was worried for her children’s safety when they cross the roads or take public transport. The 40-year-old marketing manager’s parents drive her three children aged between nine and 12 to their schools — St Nicholas Girls’ School and Catholic High School. Ms Loh Lilin, a 40-year-old homemaker, also cited safety concerns as a reason for preferring to drive her children, aged six and eight, to their schools. “I have no confidence in our bus drivers. They tend to get into accidents quite frequently,” she said. She also said that she wanted to reduce her children’s interaction with others and keep them safe as much as possible during the Covid-19 pandemic. For both parents, driving their children to school offers precious moments to bond. Ms Loh said that she has a good chat with her daughters during the 15 minutes it takes to drive them to their schools. Doing so also offers her parents, who are retirees, time to bond with their grandchildren, said Ms Sim-Glasscoe. HEAVY SCHOOL BAGS Several parents also cited heavy school bags as a reason for opting to drive their children to school. One of them, Mr Raveen Thedj, said that he prefers to drive his eight-year-old son to school every morning, rather than have his son walk 20 minutes to Compassvale Primary School. “The amount of books that a primary school kid has to carry to school doesn’t seem to make sense. My son is carrying way too much which is one of the reasons I don’t want him to walk 1.5km all the way by himself at such a young age,” said the 48-year-old sales and marketing director at a company which provides decontamination services. He recalled how his youngest son, whom he described as “really tiny” at 1.15m, had toppled out of the car while attempting to alight due to the sheer weight of his school bag. Mr Raveen said he will let his son walk to school when he is in Primary 4 or 5 as he would be taller by then. It would also be safer for his son to cross the roads as drivers can spot him, he added. SCHOOL BUS FEES 'TOO HIGH' Another parent, Mr Maran Gopala Krishnan, said that school bus fees for his two children in primary school are also “very high” despite living within 1km and 1.5km of their schools. This is partly why he chooses to drive them to their schools in the mornings, said Mr Maran, a 50-year-old director of marketing and communications at a food-and-beverage company. He drops his eight-year-old son off at Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) first before dropping off his 10-year-old daughter outside her school at Singapore Chinese Girls’ School. He estimated that a two-way trip on the school bus for each child could cost between S$120 and S$160 a month. The bus fees also have to be paid during the school holiday months of June, November and December, he added. Another parent, Mr Sandeep Menon, said he will not mind paying S$300 or more per month in fees if the school bus were to take a more direct and convenient route from his home to his seven-year-old daughter’s school in St Hilda's Primary School. Mr Menon said that the current bus route from his home in Upper East Coast Road to his daughter’s school in Tampines takes close to an hour as it goes through Bedok South and Simei first. Not only is it cheaper and faster to drive his daughter to school within 15 minutes, she also gets at least half an hour more of sleep, said the 37-year-old lawyer. One bus operator that TODAY approached said that the price of bus services “depends on demand and supply”. Mr Chan Guan Liang, the managing director of school bus operator Guillemard Bus Service, said that fees for buses which carry more than 40 children are cheaper and can cost about S$100 for each child. On the other hand, the fees can go up to about S$300 for each child if only up to 10 children are ferried in a small bus. He added that despite an increase in operating cost due to rising fuel prices, he has not raised bus fees for the past two years and only increased prices between 5 and 10 per cent this year for certain routes with fewer children taking the bus. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JANICE LIM Related topics