In South Africa, school transportation remains a problem. Granted, it is good to get some exercise, but for children, who have to walk to school in the African heat for more than an hour, it can get a bit rough.
School Transportation Stats:
According to statistics, more than double the number of children use taxis for school transportation rather than buses and half of the children in the highest income group are taken to school by car. Taxis are mostly used in all provinces as school transportation, with the exception of Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape where buses are more frequently used.
Did you know that almost 70% of South African children walk to school on a daily basis? So what is a reasonable walking time for learners to get to school? On average, a person usually walks a distance of 2 – 3 km in 30 minutes and around 72% of learners who walk to school, only take 30 minutes or less. However, it takes 22% of learners 30 – 60 minutes to get to school. This means that some learners are walking more than 3 km per trip and over 6 km each day! Keeping this in mind, remember that learners are overloaded with books and heavy backpacks which also have an impact on their energy levels.
This is why the Department of Transport has collaborated with the Department or Education to ensure a mandate in providing Gr R to Gr 12 learners with school transportation on the condition that they stay 3 km or further away from school. Now that is smart thinking! This mandate will help learners, especially in rural areas, to be able to attend school.
No matter which school transport you use, remember to stay safe, buckle up and never take any favours from strangers – not even if they are offering you a free ride to school.