Traffic police ready to cope with rush as schools open tomorrow

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Traffic police ready to cope with rush as schools open tomorrow

DUBAI - Even as thousands of students return to schools tomorrow or resume classes after the summer vacations in the coming days, public and private schools in the UAE are gearing up to welcome them back. Many have worked out shorter timetables due to the new academic year coinciding with the beginning of Ramadan.

By Preeti Kannan, Afkar Abdullah And Afshan Ahmed

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Published: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 1:05 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:12 PM

The new academic session promises exciting school days for students. — KT file photoThe closure of arterial road, Al Wahda, has clearly worried schools in Sharjah, who are now trying to find ways to beat the traffic. Many fear that the two-year closure will create severe bottlenecks for school buses and parents’ vehicles. As the opening coincides with Ramadan, private and public schools are gearing up for reduced working hours.

Transport officials are looking at alternative routes and many are keeping fingers crossed, hoping that students wouldn’t have to sit longer in buses. Delhi Private School (DPS), Sharjah, has altered several of its routes since at least eight of its buses rely on the highway. Vandana Marwaha, principal, said, “ Certain routes have been altered and we have new bus stops.We have already had three trial runs of our buses this week to familiarise our drivers.” DPS also has made a parallel timetable ready and has shortened all its classes by five minutes each during Ramadan.

Transportation companies are also trying to identify central pick-up points to cut down on commuting time. Colonel Augustine, Managing Director of Bright Bus Transport, said, “We will face problems in Sharjah but our team of experts are moving around to find out the best possible routes. Trial runs are being carried out to ensure the parents and students don’t face inconvenience.”

Sharjah American School is hopeful that Ramadanwill enable thenew batches to settle in comfortably. “Since Ramadan marks the beginning of our academic year we will not face traffic issues due to our delayed school timings. However, there will be a meeting with the transport in-charge to discuss the issue of traffic in the coming week,” said Shireen Fatima, the secretary in charge.

Dr Farooq Wasil, principal of Our Own English High School (OOEHS) Sharjah, said the school would be analysing the traffic for the first few days of re-opening and has already taken a survey of the roads, besides conducting orientations for its drivers.

Schools have also planned new programmes and innovative technologies to ensure smooth transition. OOEHS, for instance, is providing laptops to its teachers and fitting classrooms with projectors.

The Winchester School is planning a six- week ‘immersion programme’ for Grades VII, VIII and IX so that non-native speakers can improve their English levels to ensure smooth transition in to its British curriculum.

Heath Ellis, a teacher at Taaleem schools, which conducted a development day for its teaching staff, said, “Every new school year we assess the students, understand their needs and build appropriate support networks. It is important to do this early in the year so that they are comfortable and happy, which positively affects their ability to learn.”

Public schools have already distributed books for its students, said Taha Al Hamri, Director, Administrative Services Unit, Dubai Schools Agency. “ The Dubai Schools Agency assigned a dedicated team who looked after this to ensure that all books are distributed and available in schools well before the beginning of the academic year in order to facilitate the process and avoid the issues that were faced earlier,” he said.

Sharjah Police is also working overtime to ease traffic jams to tackle the congestion once schools resume.

The police will be deploying 100 patrols in various parts of the emirate. Colonel Abdullah Al Dukhan, Deputy Director of Sharjah Police Department, said that school traffic accounted for 90 per cent of the traffic jams in Sharjah.,`

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