Decrease in new enrolments has driving schools worried

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The number of new learners who have enrolled at the various driving schools across the country has registered a fall despite the fact that the winter months are considered a peak season for new enrolments at the driving instruction schools. The number of new enrolments has been on a downward slide since the month of November, sources say.

Many schools in the country have got vacant slots in their training schedules, which is very unusual, it industry sources are to be believed. The frequency of new enrolments has also decreased.

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“Our shifts are more relaxed now and we have a lot of breaks during our work hours”, said an instructor of a leading driving school in Doha. On some days, we have only a couple of learners slotted for the morning shift, he added.

This falling rate of enrolments is unusual trend for the driving schools as most people who wish to get a driving license apply after taking instructions during the winter months.

Some sources suggest that the fall in the enrolments could be due to a very low passing rate, with only 3% clearing the test in a day, the highest passing rate has been 7%.

He added that such a trend is unusual, particularly for those who apply for driving licences for light vehicles during this peak period compared to the previous years where they received a large number of learners.

Learners who are declared unsuccessful in the two road test attempts are required to again register at a driving school for either half or full course. For re-registering applicants are required to pay a sum of QR2800 again, which is a big amount for many applicants and even after that no one can provide a guarantee that the applicant will pass the test.

Other reasons that are being cited for the fall in the number of new learner enrolments at driving schools include the increasing competition in the industry. With the mushrooming of many new driving schools, each tries to outdo the other by offering discounts and special offers to potential learners.

What seems to have further compounded the problem is the exclusion of 240 categories of professions from getting a driving licence, most of these professions are filled by expat workers, whose population is ever growing.

Furthermore, it is being predicted that in the coming day securing a driving licence may become even more difficult as the Traffic Department is seeking to limit driving licences only to deserving candidates in order to make the country’s roads safer.

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