Muscat: Five years to the day since three children from Pakistan School Muscat (PSM) died in a horrific bus accident, the school management is planning to start dedicated bus services for its pupils.
On January 22, 2014, nine-year-old Awais Nazir, 10-year-old Sayyid Fahad and 16-year-old Fareeha Parvez were travelling on a bus that slammed into a truck, while travelling on the Qurum Heights road. All three died on the spot, and January 22, 2019, will mark five years since they tragically lost their lives.
In addition, two other students, Jawad Habib (eight) and Faisal Abdul Aziz (14) were seriously injured in the same accident.
“The matter to start a bus service has been brought forward and is currently under discussion. Once the parents agree to the given fare, we will go ahead with the plan,” said Abdul Ahad Nazir, Chairman, Pakistan School Board.
Ali Javed, the Ambassador of Pakistan to Oman, prayed for the departed souls and called upon all education institutions to ensure the strictest of controls, ensuring the safety and security of the children.
Moreover, the Senior Principal of Pakistan Schools in Oman said that every year, the school held a special prayer and assembly remembering the tragic loss they faced in 2014.
“During the special school assembly, we offer special prayers for them and offer our condolences to the parents,” said Ataullah Niazi, Senior Principal of Pakistan Schools in Oman.
“With regard to the safety of children, the school has distributed road-safety circulars in both English and Urdu to educate children and parents, as well as raise awareness,” said Ataullah Niazi.
“The school makes sure to safeguard the safety and security of its pupils and has done everything to ensure road safety,” Niazi said.
“As years pass by, we are still struggling to overcome this tragedy,” Ali Javed admitted to Times of Oman.
“It’s heartbreaking to see three young lives lost and others rendered with restrictions on movement and a painful process of recovery.”
“Recently, another precious life was lost when the bus driver left a child sleeping in the back seat,” he added. “While I am finding myself at loss for words to express my heartfelt condolences to the deceased families, I call upon all education institutions including parent bodies and BoDs to enforce the strictest of controls, administrative measures and protocols over all such persons who are entrusted with taking care of our youth, from the assistant teachers to the bus drivers, to ensure the safety and security of our children.
“I pray for the departed souls’ eternal peace and share the grief of the bereaved families and loved ones left behind,” the ambassador added. Speaking exclusively to Times of Oman, Abdul Aziz, the father of Faisal, one of the children on the bus who was brutally injured in the accident, said that they have decided to permanently resettle in Pakistan due to Faisal’s treatment.
“Since the accident, Faisal is completely bedridden and we have been going back and forth to Pakistan for treatment,” he admitted. “For the first few months, we received the treatment in Muscat but then decided to move Faisal to Pakistan and continue the rest there.
He received the treatment for little over a year there and we moved him back to Muscat before finally deciding to settle in Pakistan.”
He added that it has become extremely difficult for him to manage his family along with work as he frequently travels home to tend to Faisal.
In addition, Mohammed Zaeem, General Secretary of the Pakistan Social Club in Oman, said that although the incident had taken place five years ago, it was still fresh in the hearts of the country’s Pakistani community.
“It was indeed one of the most tragic incidents that occurred to date in which three innocent lives were lost and some were severely injured,” Zaeem said.
He added that there is an urgent need for more branches of Pakistan School across Oman that would shorten the travel distance for the students.
“As a parent, I would request the management to look into opening more branches of the school in major cities such as Sur, Ibra, Barka and in between Athaiba and Ghubra in Muscat, as the current number of branches in Oman are quite far,” said Zaeem. “This will make the commute for home to school and back again extremely convenient for both children and parents.”