Even though there are no official statistics as to the real number of female teachers who are killed in road accidents while travelling to and from the school, however a study has been made recently which has indicated that upwards of 150 female teachers have died in the Kingdom in the previous year alone, due to traffic accidents. The study has also shown that around 56 percent of all the vehicles used in the transportation of the teachers are not fit to be travelling on highways while 22 percent of these vehicles have been fitted with worn out tires.
Umm Fatimah is a teacher who works a few hundred kilometers away from her residence in a school. The total duration of the ride to work and back home takes around 5 hours. She states that the breaking down of vehicles is something which is common, and is what contributes to the teachers being late for their classes; she adds that she is always worried throughout her road journey. Umm Fatimah travels along with 35 other teachers in the same bus to work and she states that all of the teachers are scared that there will be an accident due to the fact that the driver is speeding all the time. She says even her husband is worried about her.
Zainab Abbas, another teacher has urged the authorities to stop allotting teachers to schools which are in remote places and instead should hire teachers who live closer by. She added that the Transport Ministry should also set up a service exclusively for the teachers. Those women who are living in these remote villages or nearby towns should be hired by the school instead of teachers from distant cities. Zainab also added that if there are any unpaved roads which lead to the school, they should be paved. Secondly she also urges the Education Ministry to set up a transport system for the teachers.
A psychologist at the Dammam University, Dr. Mahdi Al Tahir has stated that it is important that these teachers who work in remote schools should indeed be provided with every facility which is needed by them in order to make their journey and work less difficult. Teachers cultivate the minds of our youth; they should be going to work fresh and well prepared so that they can give their best at their job. An economist, Hussain Al Haji has stated that the relevant authorities need to find a solution to this problem fast. There are many teachers who have needlessly lost their lives in road accidents, lives which could have been used to educate our youth.
Professor at the King Fahd University, Basim Abdu Al Saud is quite pessimistic about the fact that the authorities will find a solution soon. He stated that many promises have been made to tackle this problem however there is little to no evidence of work actually being done on it.
Source: Saudi Gazette
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