Back-to-school excitement picks up

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Back-to-school excitement picks up

Malls and shopping stores are lining up deals and offers for school essentials as students gear up to return to schools after a two-month summer break.

by

Muaz Shabandri

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Published: Mon 26 Aug 2013, 12:42 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 4:29 AM

MY FIRST SCHOOL BAG... A mother shopping for her son at Geant Supermarket in Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai on Saturday. — KT photo by Grace Guino

The sale of uniforms, books, shoes, bags, lunch-boxes and stationery products peaks during this time of the year as the school season gets under way.

More than 225,000 students in Dubai will be back in classrooms soon as the yellow school buses hit the roads once more. For parents, this time of the year usually involves budgeting for education expenses and going the extra mile to support their child’s learning needs.

Pamela Robinson’s son, who attends Greenfield Community School, will be among the thousands of kids going back to school next week. She said she planned to go shopping and help the 10th grader prepare for an important school year.

“As your child gets older, the expenses change and they also learn to make their own choices. They want new gadgets, the latest technology and the expenses keep changing. It’s good to have back-to-school promotions because they offer value for money sometimes. Over the next few days, I will definitely be buying books and other school essentials for my child to get ready for school.”

Parents shopping for back-to-school essentials with their children at Geant Supermarket in IBN Battuta Mall on Saturday. — KT photo by Grace Guino

Malls and department stores have special discounts on most student-related products — with some even offering discounts on popular gadgets like the iPad.

Mridula Pande, an English teacher at Indian High School and a mother of two, believes in giving children time to get adjusted to their routine.

“As soon as I came back from our annual vacation, I headed straight to the uniform store and finished buying new uniforms and shoes. The children always want new things and it’s something which gets them excited for school. As parents, it is our responsibility to give them enough opportunities to relax and unwind while building an atmosphere of excitement at home for going back to school.”

Mridula encouraged parents to create “small exciting moments” at home which would make it easier for teachers to help keep the children engaged in learning better.

“Sometimes parents do not show an interest in their child. For example, some students join school after a week of reopening and they have already missed classes. Simply put, if a parent doesn’t value school, children will also not value the opportunity to learn.”

Parents shopping for back-to-school essentials with their children at Geant Supermarket in IBN Battuta Mall on Saturday. — KT photo by Grace Guino

Mohammed Rehan Hameed is another busy parent preparing his two sons and one daughter to return to school next week. His daughter, the youngest of the children, will be joining a nursery.

“I will be paying Dh18,000 for the nursery’s yearly tuition fee and it is almost twice what I had paid for my eldest child who is now in Grade 8. The cost of education is steadily increasing and parents usually don’t have much of a choice.”

He added the prices of school essentials were also on the higher side.

“Stationery products and books have become expensive. Unfortunately, most schools have a monopoly over textbook and uniform sales also. A parent has to pay whatever price has been asked by the school’s supplier, leaving little option when it comes to budgeting for school-related expenses.”

For retailers and school goods suppliers, the next few weeks will mark an increase in profits as parents will dash to fulfil every little wish of their little ones. -muaz@khaleejtimes.com



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