Delay school timings - ‘Will help ease traffic congestions’

Kuwait: This week’s online poll by Arab Times showed a majority of parents supporting a delay in school timings as it would ease traffic congestions in the morning. Forty-two percent of the voters felt so. The topic of the poll was, “Are school timings a burden for children in Kuwait?”

Parents who spoke to Arab Times said that one of the main causes of morning traffic congestion in Kuwait is schools, which start around the same time as government offices. Everyone is in a rush around that time and the school children are also forced into this race, they opined.

About 19% of the voters felt that children trained to start their day early will be more disciplined in life. When Arab Times asked parents why they thought so, they replied that all successful people are early risers. They had examples of world leaders to cite.

About 12% of the parents supported the existing schedule saying that children grasp their lessons faster early in the morning. The earlier the school starts the better, parents who held this view noted.

However, some parents had a different viewpoint. They argued that going by the climate in Kuwait early schools don’t do much good for children. “In summer, it’s too hot for children to step out of the houses until very late in the evening, when it’s already time for them to go to bed to wake up early the next day.

This limits their outdoor activities, giving them less physical exercise and all the health problems related with it.”

Further they noted that in winter, early mornings are extremely cold, and sending children out at that time can again affect their health. They saw early school timing as being ungainly for children both in winter and summer.

About 10% of respondents were particularly concerned about the health of children, especially in winter. Winters in Kuwait are seasons of flu, and many children fall sick around this time. The early school timing makes it even more difficult for children, because even mild sicknesses aggravate when children are exposed to the early morning mist.

A school principal Arab Times spoke to said that the parents’ concerns regarding early school timing is well grounded. He pitied young children, especially in the kindergarten and primary levels, for having to sacrifice sleep and march off to schools early in the morning.

They are unable to fulfill all their morning chores because of the rush. Some children who are fussy eaters suffer even more, because it’s an odd time to have breakfast. The snacks they bring to school are not eaten, leading to nutritional problems.

Seventeen percent of the parents complained that children are deprived of good sleep because they have to rise early to prepare for school.


By: Valiya S. Sajjad Arab Times Staff

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