According to the Department of Health, more people get into road accidents while walking than while riding a vehicle. What’s alarming is that almost 40 percent of these casualties are aged 19 years old and below.
Keeping in mind the sheer number of young students who walk to school each day, Safe Kids Philippines, an organization that plans activities to help prevent childhood injuries such as poisoning, burns, drowning, falls and road accidents, launched the ‘Walking School Bus Project’, which recognizes October as International Walk to School month.
The idea behind the Walking School Bus Project is for a parent or an adult volunteer to serve as the “school bus driver” who safely brings students to school. The only twist is that there’s no actual bus to begin with.
Says Safe Kids Philippines Executive Director Marte Perez, “There are 22 million kids in the country who walk to school daily. That’s 22 million chances of getting hurt on the road. Our goal is to get the community together to make the school journey safer for our children.”
With an adult present, the chances of children getting into a road accident will decline significantly, which is the objective of the project.
How does it work? Parents follow a schedule and work in rotating shifts bringing the kids to school. It’s already being performed by parents from the Baclaran Elementary School, and internationally, over 40 countries are already practicing it. These parents have already formed friendships and because they take turns in brining the kids to school, they still have plenty of time to perform other duties at home.