COMMUNITY PROBLEM SOLVING PROJECT

Project F: Car Use for Transporting Children to and from Schools By students: Hjh Suraini Bte Hj Shahir and Dk Tuty Shahrina Pg Hj Mat Said Problems: Motor vehicles have come to play an extremely important role in people’s lives as they greatly increase their mobility. Vehicle ownership in Brunei is high (3rd highest in the world). Brunei’s annual gasoline consumption, no doubt helped by the low price of fuel, is four times higher than the world’s average consumption. The main reason for the use of cars in Brunei is the need to transport children to and from schools. During the peak hours, traffic congestion is quite a big problem. The increase in the volume of traffic causes an increase in energy consumption. Furthermore, the increased time spent in the transportation of children means that parents are late for work. Also, oil is a nonrenewable resource and Brunei faces oil depletion in the near future. In addition, the carbon dioxide emitted from the burning of petrol contributes to global warming and the greenhouse effect. The burning of petrol also releases nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides into the atmosphere, which causes acid rain.

Figure 1. Traffic at 5.30pm after both Sekolah Ugama Lambak Kanan and Sekolah Rendah Dato Marsal finish their afternoon session.

COMMUNITY PROBLEM SOLVING PROJECT

Figure 2. Traffic is observable in the front of a housing area. Possible solutions: Policies for transportation service should be changed. Public transportation should be developed and the public should be encouraged to use it. Public transportation should be improved as a response to social needs e.g. ensuring the safety of school children by making sure that all the drivers are well-trained and experienced. Changes in land transport rules and regulations should be made e.g. limiting the number of private motor cars owned by a family, limiting the number of imported motor vehicles, reviewing the issuing of driving licenses. Grants should be issued to schools for the use of school buses, thereby making it easy for students to use public transport to get to school. The public should be informed of procedures for grants for transport of children. Gasoline costs should reflect economic and social costs. Public transport systems and services should be developed and enhanced to encourage the public to use them e.g. punctual operation of buses to ensure their effectiveness and efficiency, upgrading the quality of the bus services by ensuring that they are comfortable. Measures for environmental protection relating to motor vehicles should be implemented.

COMMUNITY PROBLEM SOLVING PROJECT

Actions taken: Project members wrote to local authorities asking them to provide more school buses. An article was published in the local newspaper requesting that authorities address the problems of non-sustainable practices in the transportation of school children and encourage the use of buses.

Figure 3. Article made by students to show their finding on High Car Ownership in Brunei (Published in The Brunei Times: Tuesday 31st October 2006).