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Back-to-school rush welcomes new academic year

26 Aug 2023

Muscat – As the new academic year begins in Oman, the familiar back-to-school rush is back. It’s an exciting time filled with activity for both parents and students.

After a long summer vacation when many parents and their children were away on holiday, it’s now time to clean those shoes and get uniforms ready for the upcoming first day of school on Tuesday, August 29.

Ruqaiya Abdullah Salim al Hadi, a mother of three, shared her thoughts with Muscat Daily on getting ready for the school reopening. She emphasised the atmosphere of anticipation and eagerness that fills her home, as two of her children eagerly prepare for the upcoming school year.

“I informed them about the school reopening two weeks ago. To ensure their focus on studies, I collected their iPads. Additionally, I accompanied them to purchase stationery supplies and school bags for the upcoming academic year.”

For Ruqaiya, the most comforting aspect is her routine, which will return to normal once school reopens.

Throughout the summer break, she maintained a firm control on her children’s screen time, ensuring they didn’t spend extended hours on their phones. “I engaged them in various activities, like drawing, attending storytelling and Quran workshops, and participating in summer camps.”

One of her daughters, Wardah Hussain al Mawali, who is in Grade 2, is excited about school reopening. “I can’t wait to be with my teachers and friends after such a long time,” she said enthusiastically.

Islam al Balushi, a resident of Mabela, and his wife are actively going about purchasing school essentials for their children and preparing them for the transition back to school.

“The children are brimming with excitement about getting new supplies. Seeing their happiness brings me joy, yet I can’t but help notice that prices of these supplies have skyrocketed beyond imagination. The ministry must intervene and address the issue of these exorbitant price hikes,” Balushi said.

Asked how his routine will change once school is back in session, he said the time he dedicates to his children is the same regardless of school session or break.

Dr Makarand Jewrikar, a pediatrician attached to Badr al Sama Hospital, provided a few tips for children returning to school after the long summer break.

“The start of the school term signifies a notable shift for children. To help them transition smoothly, parents can engage them in activities beforehand, adjust their sleep routine, and have open conversations about their first day, especially since some children might feel a bit anxious initially. It’s also important to ensure backpacks are worn properly with both straps, positioned at the waist level, and not exceeding 10% to 20% of the child’s weight.”

Consumer Protection Authority is conducting a campaign to monitor shops selling stationery with the aim of checking for any violations including price hike of supplies.

‘If you notice any violations during your purchase, do not hesitate to report and communicate with the authority through its various channels,’ the authority has stated.

(Contributed by Deeba Parween)

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