Fiji’s Ministry of Education is urging students to be vigilant while using their bus cards.
This comes after concerns were raised that there were insufficient funds in government-topped-up blue cards to cover students’ travel in a term despite the ministry topping up cards sufficient to cover an entire term.
Upon investigation, the ministry found that students were being charged more than the required amount per trip.
“The maximum (Stage 3 new fare) fare per trip that should be charged is $1.05 for Taveuni and 99 cents for Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. The Ministry has come across instances whereby students are charged more than $10 per trip and in some instances up to $20 per trip,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The Ministry is urging students to check that the value of the fare is correct before tapping their cards. Parents are also urged to check the bus fare receipts of their children to ensure that correct fares are being charged and to highlight this to the relevant stakeholders in case incorrect fares are charged.”
Heads of schools and teachers have also been encouraged to create awareness in schools so that students understand and are aware of their responsibility when using the subsidized bus fare cards correctly.
“Teachers should also conduct regular checks to ensure that students have their blue cards and assist those who may not.”
The ministry adds that it will work with other key agencies to ensure that the funds provided are utilised for their intended purpose and that no student is deprived of the right to have access to the assistance provided by the government.