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Aug 28, 2002

Parents: School expenses burdensome

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For more than a few parents, the start of the new school year will come as a reprieve from the long months of summer. But alas, there is a downside. Whether you’ve got pre-schoolers, primary-schoolers or high-schoolers, those bags, books and uniforms all come with high price tags. Jacqueline Woods took a walk around town to today to find out how parents are coping with the expense of it all.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

With four more days to go before primary and high schools open across the country, parents and students are hustling to find the money to buy supplies and books.

This afternoon we found a crowd at one of the busiest book centres in the city. Most of the shoppers were camera-shy, but we did manage to find a few who were willing to speak about the experience.

Jacqueline Woods

“Sir, as you get your child ready for school on Monday, how have you been finding the cost of books and supplies?”

Shopper #1

“Okay, actually this is my first purchase and it seems quite reasonable. That’s the reason why I came here to purchase these books. I haven’t reached the cashier as yet, but it looks like if everything is reasonable, so after I reach the cashier I’ll know more or less what’s taking place.”

But while that father had yet to find out what the damage would be, this mother bought three books and had to pay sixty-eight dollars. She says buying books is a struggle, especially for single parents. Some families are luckier than others and manage to convince relatives to help with the expense.

Shopper #2

“I’m buying school books, but I’m just assisting.”

Jacqueline Woods

“You find the books reasonable or expensive?”

Shopper #2

“I don’t think the books are expensive, I think the expense is in high school books, they’re more expensive. As you go up to a higher level the books are more expensive.”

Some schools do have programmes to help parents with the cost, but it has been difficult. It’s not certain just how many children will be prepared, but one thing that is certain, come Monday, school will open and students are expected to be on time and ready to work. Jacqueline Woods, Reporting for News 5.

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