'Anata-Shu'afat, Tue 14.2.12, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
Anata – 7:10
Three vehicle lanes open, traffic flows quickly. Only school buses use the northern lane.
On our way into the locality we saw children exiting the checkpoint on foot and waiting outside for their rides. The man from thae residents’ committee told us they’re students at the UN schools located outside the town. They don’t have access to private or municipal school transportation, and have to use public transportation.
There are four elementary schools in the Shuafat-Anata compound:
- A municipal boys’ school with 1,000 pupils
- A private girls’ school with 1,000 pupils
- Two UN schools with 5,000 boys and girls (one school for boys, one for girls)
Anata – 7:40
The municipal buses enter the pickup area one after another, the children get on and they immediately depart. 3,000 children used the municipal school buses and we never felt that things got out of control.
The head of the residents’ committee says that the pickup area is only temporary; it will be expanded when the legal procedures for acquiring land beyond the parking area have been completed.
The entering buses must drive backwards to enter their assigned places. It appears that safety has been improved and the children no longer pass between the vehicles, as they were doing three weeks ago.
The head of the committee says that 5 sensible adults are stationed there; their job is to direct the bus traffic and the children. A bus driving in reverse is guided by two men, one in front of the bus and one behind it.
Most of the children arrive from their neighborhood on foot, but some who live in Ras Hamis, the northern neighborhood, have to go through two crossings: one at the exit from their neighborhood to the main road, and the second to go through the main checkpoint to the bus area.
Anata – 7:50
Only two more buses come in to get the children who are late.
The residents’ committee deserves a hearty “Well done!”