PN laments lack of school transport agreement; calls process one of ‘confusion’ and ‘concealment’
With just three weeks left for the beginning of the new scholastic year, the government has not yet put measures in place to fulfil its promise of free school transport, the Nationalist Party (PN) has said.
It said in a statement yesterday that free school transport for all students was a system promised both by the PN and the Labour Party in their most recent electoral manifestos, and that Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna had also promised it during his annual budget speech last October.
However, nearly a year later, the government is still dragging its feet on the matter, to the point that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is now promising that whatever parents pay for school transport will be refunded by the government, the statement goes on.
Yesterday, The Malta Independent reported that parents were to be refunded school transport fees, but that there was no clear indication as to when this refund would take place.
Minister for Education and Employment Evarist Bartolo also told this newsroom that negotiations on this measure were in their ‘final stages’, stressing the complexity in efficiently implementing the service to non-state schools.
The main Opposition party says that parents, school administrators and transport operators have all said in the open that they have been left in the dark by the government. This lack of consultation and planning so close to the new scholastic year means that operators cannot make their own plans, the party adds. This, it says, is because the government is offering only confusion and concealment instead of transparency.