Education is turning a different page in Oman these days with parents proving to be a big stumbling block to the future paths of their children’s careers. University and college students turn up at campuses with vehicles that their teachers cannot afford to drive or phones that are out of reach of their tutors. Female students walk to the classes wearing clothing, designer shoes and handbags with price tags that can feed a poor family for two months. Parents are just happy to pay for the “luxuries” without pausing a single minute to think about the grave consequences.
They miss classes or fail to concentrate on studies while paying too much attention to the trappings of life.
It will all boomerang on their faces just a few weeks after graduation when they start looking for jobs with lower grades or attitudes that do not fit the requirements of employers.
Education sector gets one of the biggest shares of budget from the government, which proves how Oman places education as its priority to push the wheels of progress forward. But parents obviously are to blame and I am not exaggerating that they hinder the development of youth.
While talking about responsibility, it starts at home. The nurturing of the future leaders, both in the public and private sector, is firmly in the hands of parents. Yet, some Omani parents sadly take this responsibility very lightly.
You don’t love your children by pampering then with money. I think, some parents try to live their past through their children when their own parents were too poor to afford it.
Many Omani parents blame teachers when their kids do not perform well in their studies. Yes, teachers sometimes fail to shape the future of the students, either through bad influence or just negligence.
However, parents spend a large percentage of the day with their children while teachers have only a quarter of the day. But the moulding goes back a long way. It starts with the very young age long before teachers take of the children. The future of any child starts with the blueprint the parents designed from day one.
But even when a young graduate gets his/her first job, some employers say they need to work on their soft skills to make them adaptable to the work environment. The work environment is not just to cope with their job responsibilities but to be able to show commitment and communicate with their work colleagues.
Parents who raise their children in a cocoon of too much comfort realise their mistake years later when their children are young adults. They will realise they planted a time bomb that will explode on the future path of their children.
Above all, such children also fail to socialise with their peers. They lack the communication skills to get along with friends. Since parents do not live forever, the free cash they enjoyed during their teen years comes to an abrupt halt.
They feel isolated as the bubble they lived in starts to implode. However, having said that, parents need not decide the future of their children. Teachers usually play an important role provided children get a decent and a realistic upbringing at home. Independence usually is the strong base to equip young people to determine their careers. Overbearing and pampering is not one of them.
It goes without saying, the cars and the latest mobile phones parents splash out for their children defeats the purpose of the country’s development. It is also a waste of billions of rials of government money in scholarships for the less performing students.
Saleh Al Shaibany