NATION

Ministry To Place Limits On Student Cards

School students with blue Government subsidised e-ticketing cards will only be permitted to use them six days a week, Minister for Education Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has said. Students with household incomes
13 Jan 2018 09:00
Ministry  To Place  Limits  On Student Cards
Minister for Education Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Photo: Lusiana Tuimaisala

School students with blue Government subsidised e-ticketing cards will only be permitted to use them six days a week, Minister for Education Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has said.

Students with household incomes of less than $16,000 qualify to receive the card through which bus fares are fully paid for by Government.

However, the Attorney-General in a press conference on Thursday said the Education Ministry had evidence of cases of illegitimate usage of the cards by bus travellers.

Further, e-ticketing machines will be calibrated to only register transactions from the blue cards between 5am and 7pm from Monday to Saturday.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had some abuse, since e-ticketing started (and) we’ve actually had some parents using children’s card,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“We’ve had some people using the cards right in the night when they’re obviously not going to school or coming back from school so we have worked out with the bus companies that only from Monday to Saturday can the students use their cards (blue cards).”

The changes will require a few weeks to be fully implemented and will continue throughout the term once machines are retrofitted.

“But of course for six days a week within those times they (students) can travel and use those cards at the subsidised blue card rate,” he said.

The school term begins on Monday (January 15).

Last October, Fiji became the first country in the South Pacific to implement an e-ticketing system on its public transport.

It was a system that was initially met with resistance following the emergence of a few teething problems but has been generally accepted since.

Meanwhile, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum urged parents and students to collect the 25,000 cards handed out by Government through various roadshows which would end today.

“We wanted to ensure that students actually get their e-ticketing cards before school starts,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“I urge parents and students (to) please go to these roadshows. We’ve got 26 roadshows throughout the country in different town centres and various other locations so please go and get your cards.”

He said the Education Ministry did not wish for any student to face transport issues on the first day of school.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj



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