PBDS Baru calls for special needs children to be included in free school bus programme

Bobby William

KUCHING, Sept 6: Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) Baru hoped that the state government can extend the free school bus programme to include special needs children.

In a press statement today, its president Bobby William asserted that beside benefiting the urban poor communities and busy working parents, the said programme should also include or integrate with special bus transport customised for children with special needs.

He noted that the urban poverty rate is rising and many Dayaks have migrated from their villages to urban areas to find a better living in order to provide a better life for their children’s future.

“Senadin area (in Miri) is also one of those areas which has living proof of such circumstances.

“Hence, when it comes to urban poor communities, not many can actually afford a smartphone and its mobile data plans to install the “Free School Bus app” even if such programmes are being considered for the children from the poor communities.

“Maybe, the (state) government could consider a plan to provide smartphones and tablets with mobile Internet data plan not just for the purpose of the “Free School Bus app” but as schools nowadays,” he added.

Bobby lauded the free school bus programme announced recently by the state government as a good initiative.

He added that pairing it with the “Free School Bus app” for parents to install in their smartphones which enables parents to track and monitor the movement of the free school buses, is a great initiative which is reliable, safe and avoids traffic congestion during school peak hours, aside from being free.

He opined the programme should be implemented concurrently throughout Sarawak, not just in Kuching or the southern region alone.

He believed such a programme will ensure better school attendance from school children in Senadin, especially when most urban poor parents have to work more than one job to earn extra income.

He also opined that if the state government wants to contribute more beneficial free initiatives for Sarawakians, they should incorporate the needs of poor communities and also those with special needs (OKU).

“If the Sarawak government would allocate more relief funds to accommodate the several undeniable needs of the poor and also those with special needs, such as education funding support for their children for example, or even creating career opportunities for those who are poor, surely Sarawak could resolve social and poverty issues,” he added. — DayakDaily