Parents feel the blues over costly school items

The prices of school uniforms, shoes and bags have gone up by more than 50 per cent. — Malay Mail pic

PETALING JAYA, Jan 3 — Parents expressed their displeasure over the price increase of schoolbags, shoes and uniforms as their children return to school today.

Concerned parents discovered prices of school supplies had almost doubled when they shopped for necessities for their children.

What used to cost RM150 for each child last year has increased to between RM300 and RM400 for this school term, and this does not include mandatory items such as books and fees.

Mother-of-two Intan Ismail, 34, said she spent RM578 for her daughter and son on school supplies but have yet to purchase items needed for the first day of school.

“My daughter is in Form One this year, and my son in Primary One. Their books alone cost RM135 and RM142, respectively,” she said.

“The RM578 does not include sports and co-curricular attire. There are all sorts of miscellaneous things that are listed on the compulsory list given by the school and one of the items is a bookband.”

Intan said basic expenses could go up to about RM300.

“Bus fare is expensive and if I were to send my children to additional religious classes, that would cost more,” she said.

Kedah-born Intan said she is struggling to cope with school expenses.

“As a middle-income earner, I have to wait for my next pay packet to get an additional pair of school shoes for my children,” she said.

Father-of-three schoolgoing children John Tan said he wanted to extend financial assistance to his friend who encountered difficulties in buying school supplies for his five children.

“But since the prices of goods have increased drastically, I am unsure if I can help him,” he said.

“I almost didn’t have enough to buy my daughter a new schoolbag, and she needs one badly.”

Tan said  he could hardly meet the financial needs of his children, and wondered how parents who have more than three children to send to school could cope.


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