Thursday, June 08, 2023 | Dhu al-Qaadah 18, 1444 H
clear sky
36°C / 36°C

A bit of this, that and the other


In good news this week, the price of oil has reached $66 per barrel for Omani crude, with every single cent being a positive sign for the Sultanate’s fiscal challenges ahead.

Oh... and speaking of electric motor vehicles, did anyone else see that a driverless Tesla crashed the other day killing both occupants? The 2019 Model S Tesla crashed and burned furiously, after leaving the road at high speed after failing to take a bend, incinerating both occupants, neither of whom was driving, near Houston, Texas, last week. Surely this is ‘walk before you can run’ technology, still in the experimental stages? Imagine if it had taken other vehicles, and people, with it? Elon Musk has got this wrong as ironically, earlier the same day he boasted that his “driverless technology has a ten times lower chance of an accident.”

I see the ROP rescued a staggering number of boaties this week, 25 individuals went to see in 13 small vessels and could not get home. I am all for rescuing those at sea, however so many surely reflects a lack of wisdom in preparing themselves, and their boats appropriately for their ventures, whether they are fishermen or recreational boaties.

“Whenever your preparations for the sea are poor’’, wrote Francis Stokes, “the sea worms its way in and finds the problems.”

I was born to the sea, and hail from a seafaring family. I have learned to know and respect the sea... only fools do not!

Online education continues to attempt to fill the void for schools and universities that have remained closed during the pandemic, however pupils and students, and now parents, are becoming disenchanted with the process.

Not every child is able to learn in a relatively unsupported environment. In fact, very few can. Learning to learn autonomously, without the building blocks being put in place in early education is, in fact, the greatest single barrier to effective learning, to the assumption of knowledge.

The learning process is all about developing the individual’s curiosity so that they want to learn, to know and understand something, and then become curious about something else... ‘ad infinitum.’

And speaking of learning... how good have teachers been during this pandemic? Classroom teaching and teaching online could not be more different.

They are akin to the difference between driving a car and driving an airplane! Yet virtually (no pun intended) overnight, they have been required to learn, not only a new skill, but the new technologies and processes for presenting their classes. I know of many too, who were poorly supported pedagogically, technologically, and in terms of resources, many having to re-equip themselves and take on greater internet packages due to ‘work-from-home’ requirements. Every single one of you deserves the nation’s respect and admiration.

Briefly, I see that government and ministry officials have stopped the practice of salary advances for annual leaves. That is quite understandable in this current day and age, when credit cards and overdrafts are commonplace in the retail banking sector. It is yet another example of the government extracting itself from a community function it need not be involved in, and should be totally supported.

Finally, under 12-year-olds are not allowed in shopping malls just now, and my oh my, didn’t that raise some hackles on social media? Keyboard warriors and discontents came out in force with arguments from the sublime to the ridiculous regarding the ban, with comments to the effect that the government was “bringing hardship upon the people’’, that “we will starve’’, and that “people will die because of this ban.”

What a load of old tosh! It is an inconvenience only, not a matter of life and death, though it could well end up being that! This government is trying to save lives, and too many are singing from a different hymn sheet.

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