Fiji Time: 11:39 PM on Monday 30 November

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Back to school

Torika Chandra
Monday, September 01, 2014

CHILDREN always want new things for a new school term. And while that is all great, the Consumer Council of Fiji CEO Premila Kumar believes parents need to go through their children's school things to see what they need and what they can reuse.

"It is very important to talk to children so they understand the financial pressure for sending them to school otherwise in this day and age they could take this for granted," Mrs Kumar says.

"I think one of my first advice (to parents) is that they need not listen to what children are saying because children are under peer pressure and they may asking for things they already have after listening to their friends and what they have."

She said parents should see what can be reused, repaired or fixed first before they draw up a back to school shopping list.

She added another tip was to practise comparative shopping — visit as many shops as possible before deciding where to buy the things your child needs.

But, she adds, also be willing to negotiate for a lower price.

"There is no such thing as each term begins that each child has to have something new.

"If there are older siblings and there are school items that can be reused, then it makes sense to do so.

"And why only look within the family — parents can also look within the neighbourhood and the extended family and when it comes to bags, sandals and books and all of that can be recycled."

Shopping and preparation for school aside, both the Ministry of Education and Mrs Kumar believe parents and teachers should place more emphasis on focusing their children on their studies so investment into their education was not wasted.

"Now that most sporting activities have ceased, it is imperative that teachers and students prepare academically for the most important school term of the year," acting permanent secretary for Education Basundra Kumar said.

Schools open for term three today for the staff meetings and all classes are expected to commence tomorrow.

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