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Parents pay more for new outfits

EDUCATION
By Kirsten Kanja | January 5th 2021

A pupil moves his desk at Bidii Primary School in Nairobi on January 4, 2020, after learners resumed in-classes countrywide. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

School uniform shops in Nairobi were yesterday a hive of activity as parents rushed to buy items for their children as learning resumed. School reopening

Many parents have had to buy new outfits for their children who have grown bigger after being out of school for nearly one year due to coronavirus.

Hellen Jonathan, a mother of two, was making last-minute purchases at a uniform shop on River Road when The Standard caught up with her.

“It’s been a year of a lot of changes. The boys are now so chubby because they have been home with mum resting and being taken care of. We have to buy them new school uniforms,” she said.

Edwin Mwilu, another parent, said back-to-school shopping was strenuous and had greatly dented his pocket.

“I have to buy a uniform and books for the new school year. My budget is a lot tighter than it was before the pandemic hit,” said Mwilu.

Mary Wambui, who sells school supplies like socks, sweaters, shirts, and stationery at a stall on River Road, said business has been good since November last year when Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha announced that schools would reopen this month.

Better times

“When the pandemic started, my business was struggling to stay afloat. When schools were closed due to the outbreak, I was forced to store my supplies as I waited for better times. The merchandise I bought over a year ago has just started finding buyers,” said Ms Wambui.

She said she makes up to Sh5,000 per day.

Wambui is trying to save money from her business to help pay for accommodation and other requirements for her two university-going children by next week.

A mother who was purchasing books and stationery at a Nairobi shop yesterday asked the Government to ease the financial burden for parents as schools reopen.

“It is so hard for most parents. They can’t afford it, but their children still have to go to school. For each of my three children, I have to buy textbooks and stationery worth Sh15,000 each,” she said.

Schools officially reopened yesterday following the Government’s November announcement of the planned resumption of learning, despite concerns of safety in the wake of the pandemic.

Covid-19 measures being observed in schools include setting up handwashing stations and conversion of spaces, including fields, tree shades and dining halls into learning areas.

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