ISLAMABAD - As back-to-school shopping is picking up pace since opening of the educational institutions in the country after summer vacation break, the families are grappling with the higher prices on all the essential school items.

Most of the private schools start their new academic session after the summer break. It is a common practice for most of the families to buy the back-to-school essentials for their kids during the first week of the opening of the schools by physically visiting the stationary stores or ordering through the online suppliers.

The price of school supplies from glue, colour pencils, markers, lunch box, water bottle, geometry box, school bags, textbooks, notebooks and uniforms has registered a significant increase which made it difficult for families, especially salaried class, to manage the educational expenses.

“I have spent around Rs 20,000 to purchase the school essentials for my son studying in Grade-I including books, notebooks and stationary while his uniform is still pending which I will buy on weekend as the students can wear coloured clothes during the first week,” Murad Ali Khan, a parent of two kids said.

Although it has become difficult to bear the expenses of my one school-going son who is studying in private school but we have no option left when the government institutions lack facilities and educational standards, he lamented.

Shagufta Amin, a mother of three kids, said, “I was surprised to hear the price of trolley bag during my visit to the school supplies shop, what to talk of other items.”

Talking to APP, she said, “The price of an ordinary trolley starts from Rs 4,000 while those having fewer prices are not durable enough to be dragged in a long way in school premises. Getting education in a private school has become a luxury keeping in view the increasing fee structure and a long list of stationary and other items.”

“Not only the parents have to buy all the stationary themselves but these schools also grab annual charges for stationary too in the name of art work, overburdening the parents,” she observed.

Another parent, Shaheena said that instead of making things easier for the parents, the private schools provided a long list of stationary items to the parents for buying which was hardly used during the whole year.

Back-to-school shopping picking up pace

She urged the concerned authorities to keep check on unusual increase in the prices of school items in the markets and take action against the unjust price hike.

Tahir Mehmood, who is associated with the profession of teaching for a long time, said that parents already struggling amid rising inflation and facing a cost of living are forced to pay high prices of the essential school items of their kids.

He said that back-to-school shopping is really stressful for them but they have to pay as being parents they consider these items as an essential category in their shopping list.

They are making some real sacrifices and leading uncomfortable life in these days due to soaring inflation, high priced fuel, electricity and gas.

Prices of school items like shoes, uniform, backpack and lunch boxes, crayons, markers, notebooks, chart papers, binders, paper, pens, erasers and pencils have been increased substantially due to the prevailing inflation.

When the poor parents are struggling to meet even their basics and reducing spending on their basic needed items, many schools have asked the parents to buy additional items like hand sanitizer and tissue papers as precautionary measures, he said.

Zia Saleem, who is the owner of stationary shop, said that the inflation has not only distressed the parents of the school going kids but every section of life.