Day: August 25, 2007

Cartoon Corner

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Two moons on 27 August

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Two moons on 27 August*

*27th Aug the Whole World is waiting for…*

Planet Mars will be the brightest in the night sky starting August.

It will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye. This will
cultivate on Aug. 27 when Mars comes within 34.65M miles of earth. Be
sure to watch the sky on Aug. 27 12:30 am. It will look like the earth
has 2 moons. The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287.

Share this with your friends as NO ONE ALIVE TODAY will ever see it

Between the signals

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I was at the signal yesterday and managed to capture these moments. 30 seconds or may be lesser. How fast the Sun is travelling – anyone interested to calculate whether he is over speeding or not. By the feel of the hot weather even at this time of the evening, I felt he was a bit fast.

Parents hard hit by rising stationary cost

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Parents hard hit by rising stationary cost
By Daniel Bardsley and Abbas Al Lawati, Staff Reporters /GULF NEWS Published: August 25, 2007, 00:24

Dubai: Many parents say they are finding it difficult to cope with the rising cost of uniforms, stationary, textbooks and all the other things they have to buy for their children every year.

Dr Elizabeth Thomas, 37, a veterinary surgeon from India with two daughters, Evana, eight, and Evita, seven, who both go to an Indian school in Sharjah, said increases in uniform prices had affected her the most.

She estimated that uniform prices had jumped about 10 to 15 per cent during the past 12 months.

“Over the year, the uniform prices have gone higher, there’s no doubt,” she told Gulf News.

“We get the uniforms from school and for the cost you pay, I certainly feel we could get better quality. Material wise, I could get a better shirt for the same price.

“The way things are now in the UAE, it’s really difficult because it’s not just the uniforms, it’s everything.”

Umm Ahmad, an Iraqi whose three children go to private Arabic schools, said uniform prices had gone up.

“Uniform prices have gone up about ten per cent, which is not bad considering that they were not expensive to start with,” she said.

She named the rising cost of tuition fees as more of a headache, saying: “The salaries of many residents of the UAE stay the same while expenses such as this are on the rise. Tuition prices go up every year.”

Armenia, an Indian whose 15-year-old daughter attends an Indian school in Sharjah, said textbook and writing book price rises had been heavy this year.

“Previously, I’ve never had to spend more than Dh200 on books, but this year it was Dh300. That is quite a big jump,” she said.

Back to school with a bang and a sigh

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Back to school with a bang and a sigh
By Daniel Bardsley, Staff Reporter/GULF NEWS
Published: August 25, 2007, 00:24

Dubai: The phrase “back to school” has struck fear into the hearts of children for decades, but increasingly, parents as well are beginning to dread the beginning of term.

The reason that mothers and fathers become concerned when the new school year looms is financial: costs of many of the essentials of school life have increased significantly this year.

It is not just the well-documented rises in tuition fees that are causing financial headaches, but also hikes in the price of books, stationery and uniforms.

As reported this month in Gulf News, stationery is now more than twice as expensive as last year for some parents, thanks to increases in the cost of paper and other inflationary pressures.

Parents who used to shell out Dh200 to equip their children with pens, pencils, exercise books and the like now have to pay Dh450.

Increases in the costs of school items are a particular headache to parents already struggling with the rising costs of rent and other major expenses.

Peter Daly, headmaster of Dubai English Speaking College, said textbooks had become much costlier, although in the case of his school, parents do not have to buy them themselves.

“Textbooks are now quite a major part of our budget. I’d say [the increase] must be 10 per cent per annum,” he said. “We get our textbooks from the UK and in the last two or three years particularly they have become expensive.”

Similarly, with regard to uniforms, Alexandra Sacher-Clynes, director of supplier Wren International, said that the cost of materials had gone up considerably, as the company sourced from the UK and exchange rates had become less favourable.

She said the firm had absorbed this cost as its contracts with schools stipulate the price of uniforms, although other firms that are not locked into contracts have been free to put up prices.

“We haven’t increased the prices – we’ve taken the headache,” she said.