Back-to-school re­al­ity hits pock­ets hard

Pretoria News - - FRONT PAGE - CHELSEA NTULI [email protected]

BACK-to-school comes at a cost; not only are there fees but uni­forms and sta­tionery.

Most schools give par­ents a long list of items their child will need, de­pend­ing on the grade, and it in­cludes bags, pens and pen­cils, rulers, crayons, files, note­books and a home­work di­ary.

Many par­ents like to shop around, and see where they can save a few rand.

Gla­dys Ntu­liki said she had to buy for both a Grade 1 and a Grade 6 (child) this year. She man­aged to get ev­ery­thing on the list and was lucky she had money saved up be­fore the hol­i­days.

“For the first grader, I had to buy 12 rolls of toi­let pa­per.

The school also re­quired their own brand of pen­cils, which was ex­pen­sive,” she said, not­ing that chil­dren needed a whole lot more than when she was at school.

“From stick glues to glit­ters, stick­ers, tis­sues and soap… it all goes on the sta­tionery list,” she said.

A pair of school shoes cost about R200 or more in most shops and some par­ents said they found them­selves re­plac­ing uni­forms ev­ery year be­cause their chil­dren grew fast.

Kgothatso Ku­tumela said it was com­mon for chil­dren to lose their sta­tionery and items of the uni­form, and her son was one of those who needed items re­placed through­out the year. She said she was even re­quired to (buy) a pack of pa­per (for the of­fice prin­ter), and each learner was re­quired to bring a pack, “mean­ing a lot of pa­per”.

For­tu­nately many shops had spe­cials at this time of year which helped,” Ku­tumela said.

Daniel Ser­iti said the trick was to buy sta­tionery be­fore the hol­i­days and this was what he did, avoid­ing the cost and the queues now.

“The kids are ex­cited about the new sta­tionery but not so keen about go­ing back to school, but it’s back to re­al­ity now,” he said.

Schools re­open on Wed­nes­day, al­though some in­vite the Grade 1s to come in ear­lier just to fa­mil­iarise them­selves with their new sur­round­ings and help them set­tle in bet­ter.

ZANELE ZULU African News Agency ANA

PHUMZILE Mathonsi helps her daugh­ter Lonath­emba try on her new school uni­form.

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