Education Minister Justyne Caruana has announced the suspension of a school bus driver who had allegedly left a three-year-old girl locked in a minivan garage for hours on end.
In a statement, Caruana said that following Lovin Malta’s report, she immediately instructed her ministry’s management to launch an investigation.
A board composed of former judge Philip Sciberras, former assistant commissioner Josie Brincat and retired educator Salvina Muscat was set up.
The minivan operator was also notified that the driver had been immediately suspended from the free school transport scheme.
Lovin Malta reported today that three-year-old Marija was left behind on her school bus instead of being dropped off at her after school club.
With her mother at work and no supervisor present on the vehicle, it appears that she wasn’t noticed, and the driver returned to the school to park the bus.
The girl’s mum said she spent around three hours by herself, screaming and crying for help.
An administrator for Unscheduled Transport Services Limited (UTS) confirmed the incident but denied that the young girl was left by herself for hours.
Speaking to TVM, they said that the driver had parked the minivan in a private yard in Naxxar where the company’s vans are parked and that the girl was found after it had been parked between 20 minutes and half an hour.
The administrator said the driver didn’t get off the van and that a Klabb 3-16 worker opened it from the outside as per procedure and even removed seatbelts from some of the children.
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