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City driving schools unaware of new curriculum

Despite the government putting driving schools on notice to comply with a new curriculum, the schools are yet to receive the circular.

Early this month, Transport Cabinet Secretary, Michael Kamau, said all driving schools in the country will operate under a curriculum approved by the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA).

He said this at a stakeholders’ forum and gave driving schools until December to streamline their curriculum to meet the required standards.

A spotcheck by NairobiNews revealed that many driving schools were not even aware of the new developments.

Officials at Stega and Ujuzi driving schools admitted to be in the dark but supported the new Act saying it will help reduce road carnage.

Mohamed Aziz, a manager at Rocky Driving School said the institution is in full support of standardisation of the curriculum.

“However, the buck stops with the Driving Test Units as they are the ones in charge of issuance of driving licences,” he said.

He explained that while schools can train according to the set curriculum, it is the DTUs that give drivers the go-ahead to operate on roads.

Currently, a person only needs to prove he or she has more than four years driving experience to be issued with a licence to operate a Public Service Vehicle.

 

Mr Aziz identified this as a serious problem.

 

“A person might take driving lessons but fail to practise for the entire period before the next licence renewal,” he said.

He added that the Kenya Revenue Authority should make it mandatory for drivers to undergo refresher courses before each renewal.

John Njagi, an instructor at Heltz Driving School concurs saying KRA should be keen on whom it renews the driving licence.

“I know of people who have licences but have never practised on the road yet they present their papers each year at National Bank branches where we do our renewal,” said Mr Njagi.

A new smart driving licence is in the offing, according to the Cabinet Secretary.

He added that the document will, among other things, reflect the number of accidents the driver is involved in.

According to Mr Kamau, the smart driving licence is aimed at separating rogue drivers from those observing traffic rules.