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Optimism, anxiety mark back to school season

Teachers, students look forward to successful year

Gulf News

Manama: The picture she received over the mobile was of cows grazing on a green pasture. But it promptly sparked a feeling of escapism. She wanted to be where these cows were, away from the suffocating atmosphere of the office where she has been since early morning trying to convince herself that everything would be fine.

No, it was not fine. It was the first day back at the job after the summer holidays and she was not ready to resume her duties.

“There were no holidays this summer as I could not travel and I was stuck here,” Rasha said to herself. “As my friends are now enjoying their holidays, I have to remain here as schools are re-opening,” she said, looking once more at the photo sent over a social network by a friend.

The cows looked happy, not aware of what is going on around them. “They are stress-free and I envy them for that,” Rasha, a supervisor at a private school, said. She loved her job, but not on the first day.

For thousands of families in Bahrain, the back to school phenomenon in the private sector starts this Sunday.

For all the administrative and teaching staff, it is back to the routine of waking up early to be in good shape, beat traffic and deliver the best lessons and supporting services.

“We have a new principal and while we are praying for a great leader, we do not rule out anything,” Nibal, a teacher, said. “We did have a nice break, but we did not really travel because of the month of Ramadan and we opted to stay together as a family. When the sacred month was over, we had no time to make any trips,” she said.

Newly appointed Ziyad said that he looked forward to a new experience as a teacher.

“I was lucky to be hired by the school in May, which gave me ample time to find out about the classes and the curricula and prepare accordingly,” he said. “I know dealing with students in private schools is not always easy, but I am determined to learn how to use my potential to help students acquire greater skills.”

Ghofran, a 12 year-old student, said that she wanted the schools to open to be able to see her friends.

“We have been away from one another for almost two months and it is about time we met,” she said. “We used social networks to communicate, but I like to sit with them and talk with them about we did in July and August. School is also good to refresh knowledge. I have been among the top students and I do not want to lose that edge,” she added, breaking into a big smile.

However, for Fraj going back to school means more homework and pressure.

“I love summer because it allows me to be truly and really free and to enjoy myself,” he said. “I loved going to the beach every day and having fun with my friends. But now, I have to give that up as I have to study hard and do better than I did last year,” he said.