The back to school jams

KUWAIT: There’s not much new on the streets of Kuwait except becoming jammed in traffic as schools reopen. Children sleeping in cars to catch every ounce of sleep they can get before reaching school will be repeated until they fix their sleeping hours after the holiday – this is another common sight in traffic. Despite repeated attempts by parents each year to depart early to avoid the crazy traffic, something always happen at home in the last minute to postpone leaving. These situations range from forgotten wallets or a pair of school socks that suddenly vanished. Whoever takes his or her children to school must also take into account the traffic jams in the surrounding streets of the school area, so that the youngsters can reach the classroom before the bell rings.

Do not worry because school administrators understand the hassles of the first day of students returning to school. Therefore, they will not be reprimanded or held accountable for delays beyond their control. On narrow streets where some schools are located, some deploy members of the Ministry of the Interior, represented by the traffic police to coordinate the traffic with the help of school staff to ensure safe passage of students and avoid unnecessary traffic jams. Unfortunately, this does not apply to all schools. There are some schools attempting to perform this task by using school guards to regulate the traffic and direct cars to designated dropping points. However, some drivers will disrespectfully ignore their existence and will refuse to cooperate.

Ordinary school guards trying to organize such chaotic traffic is an almost impossible task. In residential areas especially, the continuous flow of parents’ vehicles and school buses are obstructed by the residents’ cars of the neighboring buildings. This usually leads to a cacophony of car horns, angry parents, sleepy kids and overwhelmed school guards.

We understand parents’ keenness to reach their kid’s schools and their own places of work on time. But the stress of the situation can get to anyone and some parents deal with the street with a culture of savagery rather than a culture of respect. What matters to them is victory, without any heed to the consequent delay or the safety of other drivers. So how can schools solve the crisis of traffic jams? Certainly the solution lies in the cooperation of everyone, from the school, to the parents and government authorities concerned.

Even though our young students are not quite happy to come back to the routine of doing homework, and exams, they are delighted to finally meet their friends and talk about their holidays! I sincerely wish for the best for all our students this year, and good luck to all the parents driving their kids to school.

Story and photos by Athoob Al-Shuaibi

This article was published on 11/09/2017