Getting children ready for new school year

This week on What the People Say we asked parents to comment on their experience in getting their children ready for the new school year.

Sharda Rohoman
Sharda Rohoman

Sharda Rohoman, housewife,
`I am a single mother and I have three children to send to school. Their father does not support them so preparing them for school was not easy at all. I am struggling for my daily bread. In fact, I had to take the eldest child, a boy out of school because I cannot afford to send him. Then I had to borrow money to shop for the other two. I would get one or two days’ work as a domestic. But the money is not much; just about $1,000 or $1,500 for the day and would finish fast. Sometimes I don’t get food for the children to take to school. Right now the tailor finished sewing a pair of school pants for my son but I do not have the money as yet to go and collect it. He was supposed to turn out to school with long pants but he has to wear his old short pants for now.’

Paula Marks
Paula Marks

Paula Marks, president of the YWCA/catering instructor,
`I find that shopping this year was not so hard although I have three children to send to school. I didn’t have a problem finding the items they needed. I had started to put aside the money for that shopping so it was easy. I also found that because of competition from so many vendors, the items were not so expensive. The only thing is the transportation cost is high and I also have to find money to purchase text books for two of my children who would be writing exams. I can’t complain though because I have to make the sacrifice. When you invest in your children’s education, tomorrow you would reap the benefit.’

Dianand Persaud, rice farmer/ minibus driver,
`We have five children attending school and my wife did the shopping for them. It was not hard for us this year and we got everything they need. I had put aside the money for that because their education is important. I do not have to worry about transportation expenses. All of them are attending schools in the village; four are going to the government school and one is at a private school. My concern is that there should be more police presence on the road when the children have to use it. You find that even though the children would stand at the pedestrian crossing some of the drivers would not acknowledge them and have them waiting a long time before they can cross.’

Dianand Persaud
Dianand Persaud


Tracy Roberts, housewife,

`Shopping was very hard for me this year. I didn’t get everything for my children as yet because their father was hardly getting work. I have four boys to send to [primary] school and I did not get to buy boots for them as yet. One of them is wearing old boots and the other is using one that his older brother passed down. Another one had to start out to nursery school but I did not get to buy anything for him so he could not go. My husband got another work now so I would try to see what I can buy for him. Apart from that we have twin babies to provide for and it is very hard. I did not get to collect school vouchers for all of them because the same time I had to go to the hospital to deliver the babies.’

Tracy Roberts
Tracy Roberts

 O’Neil Alfred, construction worker/taxi driver,
`Both of my children we had to shop for are attending secondary school. I provided the money and my wife actually did the shopping. Most of the items were available right here in Berbice and what she didn’t get she had to go to Georgetown to buy. We found that prices for some of the items have increased, like for footwear. We used to buy the cheaper ones but they wouldn’t last too long. So we decided to make a little more sacrifice and purchase the good quality ones for like $5,000 at Giftland. We are waiting on the book list to know what we have to buy. Hopefully my nieces who finished school recently would be able to pass on their books as well.’

 Ricky Dinaram, minibus driver,
`I have one child attending [secondary] school and I have no complaints about the shopping this year. We got to buy stationery and everything. At least the voucher that the government gave out assisted a great lot so I am grateful for that. That is something good that they are doing and I hope they keep it up.’

 Camille Semple, hospital staff,
`I have two children to send to school and with my small salary it was not easy shopping for them. The items were available all over but they were very expensive. We are happy that the government is helping out

O’Neil Alfred
O’Neil Alfred

with the voucher but when we go to cash it we don’t get much. It would be better if they can give the school clothes or boots instead. The children need at least two sets of uniforms because you can’t wash one every day to wear back the next day. We have to buy small quantities so it works out more expensive. But if the government buys them in bulk it would be cheaper. Government can contract persons to go to the school and measure the children and sew the clothes. This can be done well ahead of the new school year. They can also arrange with organizations like Food for the Poor to distribute footwear and clothing. I also think that government workers can be given an extra $5,000 to assist with school shopping. They should also start implementing the big bus service. It would be cheaper and parents would feel more relaxed about their children’s safety.’

 

Ricky Dinaram
Ricky Dinaram

Molly Kurhair, housewife,
`This year I walked around and shop just to try to get the cheapest items. I found that after buying a few items the money finished so fast. My husband is a labourer and just earns a little and I had to shop for two children. I can’t afford to buy boots as yet so I am sending them with the old ones that they have. I still have to get more items but I would buy as I get the money. Only one child was able to get the school voucher and that helped a lot to purchase items like socks and stationery. Luckily, they do not have to pay for transportation.’

Ronwick Smith-Jack, taxi driver,
`I find that the school shopping this year was quite easy. There were many items selling all over and to me the prices were not too high. At least we got through to buy everything like stationery, clothing and footwear that my child needs for school. My child’s school is within walking distance so I don’t have to worry about transportation expenses either.’

 Dawn Daniels, labourer,
`I have one child to send to school and I still found it difficult to shop for the new school year. I find that prices for most of the items have increased. I’m very grateful for the voucher I got from the school. I

 Camille Semple
Camille Semple

couldn’t get too much out of it but at least it helped a little. I still have to get money to buy the rest of the stuff. I was supposed to buy five shirts and five pants because I am working and I can’t get the time to wash every day.’

 Dawn Daniels
Dawn Daniels
Ronwick Smith-Jack
Ronwick Smith-Jack
 Molly Kurhair
Molly Kurhair

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