Minister of Education, Ronald Jones has issued an edict that the days of school children joyriding for free on Transport Board buses are numbered.
In fact, he says every effort will be made to ensure incidences of bullying, incidences of bad behaviour and the incidence of children not coming to school on time are reduced.
“When I hear in the media that the school children come to school at 9:30 am . . . I’m going to tell the children this and we are hopefully going to look to implement it. This country pays a heavy price for education. High. Substantial. We put in place in 2008, a free bus fare system. [It is costing us] six point something million dollars a year.” he said.
“Bus hopping must cease, and therefore, I hope, with the support of Cabinet, coming soon we are going to give you a deadline when you can take the public transport system otherwise you are going to have to pay. You’re going to have to pay. I’m serious,” he said to thunderous applause by the audience attending the launch of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Programme at the Hilton Barbados.
“Mock sport is foolish sport. Get to school. It [is] too costly an endeavour. So as we say that by a quarter to nine or nine, we have not settled on a definitive time, you must be in school settling down, getting something in your head. If you take the bus after that, pull out the $2. That will not be subsidized. If Transport Board charge $3, you pay it,” the minister stressed as he urged parents to “push their children” to get to school on time.
Jones noted that the time had come for them to be responsible and, stop playing around, as there was too much of that happening currently.
“Get serious. That will be coming on stream shortly. We will give you enough notice. This is the first notice,” he said.