The Surat Municipal Education Board has suspended the principal of a civic school that had witnessed deaths of its three students and two cooks in a bus accident at Keshod during a study tour last month.
The school board investigation has found that the 36-seater bus was overcrowded. The private bus, hired by the school, was carrying 76 students, 11 teachers and two cooks when driver lost control over the bus which hit the median of National Highway 8D near Agatray on Keshod bypass.
Three students of the SMC-run school no. 316 had suffered permanent disability in accident. The inquiry team took statements of the school principal, Ghanshyam Kankotia, teachers and students. Sources said only five teachers were given permission to travel in the bus, but six other teachers with their kids joined the trip.
The Municipal Education Board administrative officer Hitesh Makhecha and chairman Atul Patel have slapped showcauses notice on the school principal and the teachers to explain why 76 students were taken on a bus having only 36 seats.
The board had forwarded the report to the state education department a few days ago. On the basis of the report, the state education department sent a letter to the board to suspend the principal, and gave a showcause notice to SMEB additional administrative officer Shanker Patel, who had given permission for tour. Ex-chairman of SMEB Atul Patel said, “We have suspended the school principal Ghanshyam Kankotia.”