Posted by: Pradeep | May 19, 2008

GEMS group – outsourcing of transport

Latest to add to the troubles of families in Dubai is irrational decision of GEMS group management to discontinue school transport mid term…without any information before start of term. Albeit under authority pressure they have postponed the decision to implement it by 19 days (instead of 1st June they decided to implement it from start of second term…after summer vacation of 2 month 11 days).

The school circular claims that in last 10 years the transport fees has been increased only once and if they would have been allowed to increase it every year this situation would not have arisen. Who stopped them from increasing it earlier? If it was authorities then same authorities are stopping them now also. Why they decided to outsource (?) the transport now?

It is quite clear that it took some time for GEMS management to realize that they can float a different company and offload the transport to them and keep exploiting the parents. It is worth mentioning here that transport company would be free to change their rates whenever they feel like. Nonetheless the new expected transport rates would be 3-4 times of present rates.

Where in the world the costs change so fast? Where else but “Dubai” the fastest growing city in world. I call it greed beyond boundaries.

Why not the service handed over to parents committee to run it and see if it really costs so much that GEMS management is claiming? Anyways the buses are there, drivers and conductors are there.

I am strongly against outsourcing for the reasons

  1. Safety levels of such transport are absolutely poor (recently there have been many incidence of children becoming victim of accidents, oversight, abuse etc.)
  2. It gives GEMS group extraordinary tool to exploit parents at their whims and fancies because otherwise tuition fees is controlled by Ministry of Education
  3. It is a decision which is purely out of business mentality and somewhere education field should be spared of it
  4. It would add extra burden to parents who are anyways facing extremely high costs of housing, food and indirect taxation from authorities

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