Puppets tell children how to stay safe

School Bus Owners Association (SBOA) has decided to train schoolchildren to follow safety norms while travelling by school bus. The association has come up with an innovative way to teach the children they will put up a puppet show. The SBOA feels the show will attract the kids’ attention and help them remember school bus and road safety rules.

School bus
Representational pic

The training programme, which began on August 16, will cover not only Mumbai-based schools but also those in the Thane region. They are going to teach 50 students by the month-end and 300 in three months.

The puppet show will cover important safety rules such as how to behave in school buses, while crossing the road, and while waiting for the school bus to arrive. Apart from educating children, the association also wants to train drivers and teachers about road safety.

“We have appointed an NGO, Hum Awaz, to train our bus contractors and college professors, who will train bus drivers. This training programme is not limited to our association’s drivers. Schools that have their own buses can also send their drivers for training. We will be distributing free CDs to the schools that opt for the training which will have songs and jingles about road safety,” said Anil Garg, chairman, SBOA.

Swati Popat Vats, president, of Podar Education Network, said, “85 teachers-in-training from Podar Institute of Education will help SBOA guide pre-primary and secondary students on road safety. The trainee teachers will hand out booklets prepared by Podar and teach rhymes on road and school bus safety to schoolchildren. The children will be taught not to run in front of or inside the school bus, and not to bully anyone inside the bus. The programme will help children look after themselves.”

Dr Ved Thappar from NGO Hum Awaz, said, “We have been teaching road safety to municipal schoolchildren for the past two years. We will now be providing the same training to the drivers, too. They will be trained on how to take care of students not only during school hours, but also when there are natural calamities like flooding or earthquakes and terror attacks.” 

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