Transport to school for children affected by poverty
UNICEF is concerned about those children whose school year has not yet begun due to a lack of transportation to school
PODGORICA, 15 SEPTEMBER 2023 – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is calling on the national and local authorities in Montenegro to urgently provide transportation to school for every child who needs it, thereby guaranteeing that all children can access their right to education.
“UNICEF is concerned about those children whose school year has not yet begun due to a lack of transportation to school. These are children affected by poverty across the country. The state of Montenegro has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and obligated itself to ensure that every child can access their right to education" said Sabina Zunic, UNICEF Representative to Montenegro ad interim.
We expect the national and local authorities to address this issue as soon as possible because every day without school impedes children’s development.
The issue of transportation to school predominantly affects children from the Roma and Egyptian communities and children in rural areas, particularly those living in northern Montenegro, as well as a significant number of children who are growing up in poverty. Some of these children are not attending school at all due to a lack of transportation, while others are frequently late or have to leave school early due to poorly organised transportation.
The private sector can support the government’s efforts to increase the number of vehicles for transporting children to school, so we are also calling on them to establish cooperation with schools, and the local and national authorities through their corporate social responsibility practices.
The issue of inadequate school transportation arrangements has been affecting children across Montenegro for several years. The Education Sector Analysis 2015–2020, conducted by UNICEF in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and presented to the public last year, identified the lack of transportation for children to schools as one of the barriers to access to education for every child.
Institutions were called on to urgently address this issue, which leads to fewer children who are growing up in poverty attending kindergarten and primary and secondary school compared to their peers. This results in poorer educational achievements and a reduced likelihood of breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) collaborates with governments in more than 190 countries and territories across the world to support every child in accessing their right to education.