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Friday, 28 December 2012 11:08

School resumption costs dear to parents

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December connotes expenses. Besides the Christmas and New Year shopping, parents have to earmark a considerably large sum for buying school materials and stationery.
The buying of books can amount to about Rs 5,000 and when adding the cost of school uniforms, school bags and shoes, the expenses can reach Rs 7,000 to Rs 8,000.

The CPE results are out since the beginning of the month and the preparation for school resumption on January 14, 2013 is in full swing. The rush towards bookshops is gaining momentum – parents want to ensure that their children are well-prepared to face the new academic year.

For next year, according to managers of bookshops, there are new editions for 80% of books across all Forms. Thus, parents who relied on second-hand books have no other choice than to buy new ones in most cases, spending more money than they expected. Besides, since the curriculum for the National Assessment in Form III has changed, the books that were designed last year are no longer valid and parents whose children will be in Form III next year will have to buy new books for English, Mathematics, French, Computer Studies, Chemistry, Physics and Biology.

Moreover, this year, the price some school materials has gone up by 3 to 5%. Ahmad Sulliman of Edition le Printemps explains that this is due to an increase in the cost of paper and freight. “There has been no considerable change. 50% of books have remained the same while the other 50% have known slight increases,” he says, adding that there is no shortage of books and that most books on schools lists are available.

Increase of 100%
Some books have increase by 100%. For instance, the series of books of Penguin Readers used in Forms I & II have increased by 100%. Other books have increased by 50%.

Approximate expenses on books
                 Private colleges    State Colleges    Aided Colleges
Form I             Rs 1,670         Rs 3,500            Rs 2,700
Form II            Rs 1,950         Rs 4,000            Rs 3,500
Form III           Rs 3,200         Rs 4,500            Rs 3,700
Form IV/V        Rs 4,300         Rs 4,300            Rs 4,700
HSC                 Rs 4,000         Rs 4,500            Rs 3,800

Get your books by post
This new service is offered by Antara Bookshop since 2011. According to Prithvi Fowdar, the director, this eases the buying of books and spares the parents the trouble of travelling to and fro. Through this service which is in collaboration with the post offices, the buyer receives the books within 48 hours. “The parents just have to take the list of books to the nearest post office and fill in the forms. They have to pay only for the cost of the books while the other costs are settled by the bookshop,” explains the Director.

Rs 400 to Rs 700 on school uniforms and school bags
Wearing the proper school uniform is imperative in Mauritius. Over the decade, shops specialized in the selling of school uniforms have become very popular. At Jinchi Style in Port Louis and Beau Bassin and School Shop in Candos, the rush for school uniforms started in the beginning of December. They expect for clients after the New Year following new admission in Form I. The prices have not changed compared to last year.

On average, for pre-primary, a blouse, short and skirt cost some Rs 400. In primary, it can reach to Rs 450 while in secondary it can go up to Rs 650.  Trendy school bags are very much in demand as well. School bags bearing famous children idols like Hanna Montana, Barbie, Dora (for girls) and Cars and Ben 10 (for boys) can cost parents Rs 650 and above while simple school bags can cost Rs 225 to Rs 350.

Nadia had to spend Rs 15,000 on her children
School resumption costs a lot to parents. And those who have more than one kid to send to college have to keep a special budget only for school materials. “I have two children in Forms II and III in state colleges. I had to spend around Rs 7,000 for each one for their books, school bags, uniforms, shoes and other school materials. Next year, other costs will be added: PTA fees, school journals, sports outfits, tracksuits and jackets… Indeed, a huge sum is spent on children at the beginning of the year,” says Nadia.
Premita Leelachand

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