Muscat Daily - 8/18/2019 9:49:11 AM - GMT (+4 )
Thousands of students across Oman will be heading back to schools from August 25, when the new academic year in public and private schools begins.
For many parents, back-to-school shopping may be a stressful time because of the amount of money they spend, and, for children it means new stationery items and uniforms. Shops and supermarkets selling school supplies and uniforms are already seeing increased footfall.
“With Eid shopping over now, many of us are worried about school expenses which we have to meet to make sure children go back to school happy. It is not easy managing funds especially when most people have just got done with Eid shopping. But it is our responsibility as parents and we can’t avoid it. I need at least RO100 for each child every year,” said Nasor Khamis, a father of five.
For Bader al Harthy, a father of four girls, school items alone cost around RO150 per child while Eid shopping may have cost around RO100 per child. “I am glad that some shopping centres have announced good offers. For Eid, I spend around RO100 per child. Now, I need to budget another RO150 per child for school. It is up to parents to know how to manage their finances,” he said.
The Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP) has asked consumers to check offers before buying. “We do have constant checks and follow up on the prices of stationery products and other items used in schools. Consumers who find discrepancies can register their complaints,” a PACP official said.
Some say prices of school items have been increasing year-on-year. “I spent around RO150 on each of my three school-going children last year and this year the budget has gone up to RO200. At this time of the year we mostly buy new school bags, shoes, uniforms and stationery. I feel shops take advantage of the situation,” said Abdullah al Tauqi, father of three children.