Bookshops, stationery stores see frenzied ‘back to school’ rush

Parents, students tired of govt’s ‘now open, now closed’ policies rush for last-minute shopping

Our Correspondent August 30, 2021

Droves of people rushed to the bookshops, stationery stores, and uniform shops over the weekend ahead of reopening of  schools  after  a  one-and-a-half  month  Covid-related  break today (Monday).

A large number of parents and children flocked  to  the  markets  to  buy  uniforms,  stationery, shoes, and other items.  Various  shops  were  crowded  as  a  large  number  of people were gathering in-side  the  shops  while  there  were long queues of children including parents outside the shops.

Parents waiting  in  queues  for hours said they only had one day to purchase uniforms and other articles.

The Sindh government had notified  the  reopening  of  schools  on  Friday  and  mar-kets  typically  remain  shut  on  Fridays  and  Sundays  as  'safe days' in a bid to curb the spread  of  the  coronavirus.  This Sunday, however, many shops remained  open  to  facilitate parents and students.

The  parents  complained  that  the  schools  were  re-opening  after  one  and  a  half  months but the government's decisions  were  haphazard.  The  'now  open  now  closed  policy'  was  beyond  comprehension,  said  one  harried  parent,  standing  outside  a  bookshop  to  buy  his  child's  syllabus books.

Price hikes

Over the weekend, many parents  and  students  were  left  shaken  after  listening  to  the  prices of stationery items and course material during their visits to the markets for back-to-school shopping. The rates of stationery and school sup-plies have surged they found to their dismay.

Besides uniforms, bags, and other items, the rates of new course books have increased by 30  per  cent,  it  was  observed during a survey by The Express Tribune.

Shopkeepers, on the other hand,  attributed  the  price  hike for essential stationery items  to  the  rise  in  US  dollar  rates.  The  prices  of  all  imported  goods,  especially  school bags and pencil boxes, have shot up in line with the dollar rates, they explained. As  for  school  uniforms,  they  claimed that the rise in cost of  production  for  cloth  had  led  to  an  increase  in  prices  for uniforms.


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