Unskilled trainers run driving schoolsBdnews24.com . Dhaka
Training schools for drivers across the capital have one thing in common and that is trainers without institutional education and skill, but they are instructing the new drivers to make them skilful drivers.
These training schools do not have any skilled and standard trainers. The vehicles used for practical training are also very old and outdated.
A training school named ‘Nirapad Driving School’ situated on Dhanmondi’s Saat Masjid road in the capital was seen operating its school from a room.
This school does not have a field for drivers’ training. The trainees get their trainings in the streets.
One of the trainers of the school, ‘Liton’ told the news agency that they had three short-term training course for the drivers.
Asked whether he received any schooling on driving to train others, he claimed himself to be a licensed trainer, but could not show any document to prove his claim.
The scenario was same at the Chariot Driving School at Mohammadpur.
The school’s trainer Mohammad Abdul Jobbar claimed, ‘I have received training at BUET and BRTA. I also have licence for that.’
But Bangladesh Road Transport Authority said there was no training institute for driving trainers under their authority. They are yet to launch any institute like this.
Similar activities were seen at several other schools. These schools would help anyone to get a driving licence at Tk 8,000-10,000 if they receive their training at these schools.
However, these schools are operating with approval from the BRTA itself. There are at least 69 training schools and 106 licensed trainers registered under BRTA.
But the unregistered driving schools in the city are not few in numbers.
The BRTA deputy director, Sitangshu Biswas, however, said, ‘We are taking regular steps against theses unregistered training schools.’
According to the government record, there are 1.6 million drivers in the country, of which more than 600,000 drivers do not have licence and did not receive proper training.
The Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation president and the shipping minister, Shajhan Khan, even admitted the fact several times that there were many unlicensed and unqualified drivers running vehicles on the roads.
Campaigners for road safety have held untrained drivers responsible for the road accidents in the country every day.
According to a survey by non-government organisation Brac, training programmes in all centres were being run by trainers without adequate institutional education.
‘Around 55 per cent of these trainers do not have SSC certificates and around 81 per cent of them do not have legal driving licences for heavy vehicles,’ Brac says.
According to BRTA, there are around 1.6 million registered vehicles in the country while the number of drivers with licences is around 1 million. Another 0.15 million new vehicles are being registered every year.
With this large number of vehicles hitting the streets, a huge number of new drivers were getting jobs even without proper training, experts said fearing this trend was accelerating road accidents.
Mohammad Shamsul Haque, a professor of the Civil Engineering Department at BUET, said that most of these new drivers did not have necessary knowledge and expertise in driving on the streets.
He thought that the reason was the inefficiencies of their trainers.
‘I think it is necessary to train the trainers before training the drivers and it is impossible without assistance from the BRTA,’ he said.
Haque, also a former director of Accident Research Institute, said most of the private training schools were ‘awful’. ‘The drivers, receiving training from these institutions, fail to acquire theoretical knowledge of driving.’
Actor Ilias Kanchon, coordinator of ‘Nirapad Sarak Chai’ (We want safe roads), a platform raising awareness against road accidents, said, ‘It will not be possible to ensure road safety by merely teaching drivers how to drive. Rather, it is necessary to provide them with theoretical knowledge.’
Private-owned company Nitol Group has undertaken a project in Kishoreganj to train the drivers and trainers. The Bangladesh Army and Brac have initiated separate projects for this as well.
Shitangshu Shekhar Biswas, deputy director of BRTA Engineering Department, said that the BRTA had plans to set up six training facilities in the divisional cities.
However, Ilias Kanchon questioned the quality of BRTA training asserting that the process did not include theoretical knowledge.
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