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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 June 2018

The summer break is over. It's back to school day

It has been a long recess but today the school gates will open again as education is back in session

We wish both parents and children alike a very successful, productive, healthy and happy new school year. Reem Mohammed / The National
We wish both parents and children alike a very successful, productive, healthy and happy new school year. Reem Mohammed / The National

It has been a long summer break but now is the time when the second-­brightest star in the sky, known as Suhail in Arabic and Canopus in the West, can be seen rising, which is a tell-tale signal that the season is drawing to a close.

This weekend, supermarkets, libraries and malls were packed with families stocking up on groceries, lunchbox essentials, uniforms, stationery and last-minute necessities. This morning, the back-to-school rush began and those who have enjoyed relatively stress-free commutes to work over the summer may suddenly find that their journey doubles or triples in time. For many, it will also be a painful awakening at the end of an exceptionally long break as both parents and children struggle to get back into regular sleep patterns and early morning routines.

As the school year starts, we also stand on the threshold of a new era for education in this country as the recently announced reforms begin to take effect. As Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, said on Saturday: “With the new beginning of the school year, a new national educational vision begins."

It is also a time of significant change. Several hundred new teachers have arrived to take up their posts at schools, while other modifications to the way we live our lives will also start to have an impact on all of us.

The excise tax on fizzy and sugary drinks comes into effect on October 1, with the hope that it will contribute to a healthier population. A greater emphasis on making sure everyone in the family fit and healthy can only be positive. We wish both parents and children alike a very successful, productive, healthy and happy new school year.

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