Heartening to see the school buses on roads all over again in Oman. The young citizens of the world are out again to explore, learn and play — there is something wonderful about it!
Of course, the buses are not fully packed with the naughty ones, and the quiet ones who would have been otherwise joking and playing until they reach their bus stop.
On this particular day, the second day after the reopening of the schools, the system is still taking shape and gaining momentum of a blended system. And inside the bus, children sit masked maintaining social distance having a look at the outdoors, and at the same time lost in thoughts. This would not have been the case during the pre-pandemic days.
The funny part is the age group they are in, 12 years and above, are conscious and aware of others looking into the bus. Now, every parent is also filled with curiosity and anxiety. They probably stare until the buses disappear farther picturing their child in his/her school bus.
Meanwhile there are other road users who dread to be on the road with the school buses. Timings and plannings on meeting have to be revised as we see the youngsters on the road again on shifts.
We cannot forget the teachers too. There are thousands of teachers who are back on the roads during early morning hours to reach the school before their pupils arrive. This year sees 56,569 teachers in action working on the blended system. They too are learning to cope with the ‘next’ new norm — don’t be afraid, but be cautious. There are currently 1,191 schools for basic education and this year sees 22 new schools in addition there are 13 schools for post-basic education, according to the Ministry of Education. And not to forget the 446 students from special education schools attending classes from Sunday.
The number of Covid-19 positive and death cases have seen a downward trend bringing relief at the same time a reason to open up more services. All this along with vaccination shots have brought in a sense of normalcy, but we must not stop being cautious as positive Covid-19 cases continue to be around and the responsibility is ours, individually, to keep the number down.
Most importantly the young ones would be watching us from bus windows. So let’s be the best ambassadors!