Speaking after it emerged that many students are still waiting for their school bus tickets to be issued Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien said this was just one in a list of problems with the school transport system, and called for a review by the Department of Education and Skills.
The Cork North Central TD said;
“Thousands of students are still waiting for their bus tickets to be issued due to technical issues with the Bus Éireann website now that all tickets must be purchased online.
“While Bus Éireann are making efforts to facilitate most children, the Department of Education and Skills has a responsibility to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.
“While the school transport scheme is generally ok, the fact that the rigid online payment scheme that forces parents to pay up to €650 in two instalments leaves many parents to the pin of their collar when it comes to finances.
“There is no reason why this can’t be reviewed to look at the potential of introducing a monthly payment system, particularly now that there is a complete online payment system.
“Further to this, there are problems with changes that have taken place to the system leaving many children unable to attend schools that siblings have gone to because they will be unable to avail of the school transport scheme.
“Considering the financial pressure parents are under when it comes to funding children’s education, between contributions and the cost of uniforms and many schools failure to introduce cost-effective book rental schemes, it is not a big ask for Minister Jan O’Sullivan to instruct her Department to review the scheme.”