The four-year-old reportedly died on her birthday on Sunday.
Qatar’s education ministry has launched an investigation into the death of a four-year-old who died onboard a school bus, a statement confirmed on Sunday, as parents and residents across the country rallied for swift accountability.
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education confirmed the death of a kindergarten student at a private school, noting it has “started an investigation into the incident” along with respective authorities.
“The Ministry, as well as the respective authorities will take the necessary measures as well as the maximum punishment against the aggressors with regards to regulations and according to the results of the ongoing investigation.
“The ministry also affirms its keenness to adhere to the highest quality of security and safety standards for its students, and will not tolerate any shortcomings in this regard. It extends its sincerest condolences to the family of the deceased student,” authorities added.
Earlier on Sunday, local media reported the death of the expat Indian girl who attends a private kindergarten in Al Wakrah. She had been transported to the facility as per her usual routine when she fell asleep on the bus – unbeknownst to supervisors onboard.
Doha News has opted to protect the privacy of the child.
It is unclear how many supervisors or staff, aside from the driver, were travelling with the students. However, reports say the bus was left parked in an open space during the daytime heat, which reaches above 40 degrees celsius by midday.
The child, who was due to celebrate her birthday on the same day, was reportedly found hours later at 11.30am and transported to hospital for resuscitation. Doctors were unable to save her.
News of the tragic death triggered an outpouring of anger online, with many calling for urgent action and accountability.
“Private schools are more interested in profit than students or education,” one Twitter user said.
“A message should be sent to parents when the student is absent from school on the same day,” another user said, while another said “ we hope to hear punishment soon, these are people’s children.”
Others questioned why more wasn’t done by the supervisor on the bus who “should have carried out the final check”.
Meanwhile, some parents called for more safety measures to ensure security to and from schools, urging for the installation of “cameras so that children are monitored on the bus” while others pointed towards “great neglect in schools, whether private or governmental”.
One user said the “bus supervisor, driver and the school administration must be held accountable for the tragedy – all of whom “didn’t even bother calling the child’s family that morning to question her absence”.
“The worker and the driver must check the bus before closing it,” he added.
The private kindergarten has yet to publicly address the incident. Doha News has reached out for a comment but failed to receive a response by the time of publishing.