Parents of children studying in schools operated by Taleb Group heaved a sigh relief yesterday as the sudden strike by drivers of school buses was called off late on Wednesday.
The bus services were restored yesterday and most of the drivers were at work to pick up and drop off the children. Though many of the parents were not aware of the arrangement in the early morning, they were happy that the children were dropped back in the afternoon.
Doha Modern Indian School (DMIS) principal Jai Gopal Jindal said he was happy that the row had been resolvWed. “Finally, the issue has been settled, much to the delight of the parents and the staff. The transport personnel started working from Thursday. By and large, the drivers of the buses are the same. Though some parents were not aware of the situation in the morning, we sent them information and all the children were dropped back on the school buses in the afternoon,” he added.
Jindal said the school has rescheduled the first semester examinations. “We will begin the examinations from Sunday. We have sent SMSes to the parents informing them of the new schedule of the exams and have also uploaded the same on our website,” he explained.
Al Watan International Trading & Contracting Co, which is contracted to transport the children, is a subsidiary of Taleb Group, which runs DMIS and two other schools - Cambridge School Doha and Cambridge International School for Girls.
Asked about the terms and conditions agreed with the drivers for settling the matter, Jindal said he was not privy to the discussion and had no information about it.
The parent community, meanwhile, said it was a prolonged “mental agony and torture” for them as they were clueless about the whole situation. “At last it is over and we are relieved. But I am not sure whether this is a permanent solution. I hope such things will not be repeated in future,” said one of them.
Another parent said some of the drivers have been replaced. “The driver who came to drop my child was not the regular one who used to pick my child before the strike. It seems there are some changes among the staff. Whatever the agreement terms, I hope that the arrangement works well and there will not be any such problems in future,” he added.
Meanwhile, some of the drivers said they have not resumed work because none of their demands has been met and have refused to sign an undertaking that the management wants them to sign before they join duty.