JIS News

The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is appealing to parents to practise comparative shopping, to get the best deals for back-to-school.Dorothy Campbell, Education, Information and Communications Specialist at the Commission, tells JIS News, that the CAC was aware that there were still a number of shoppers awaiting salary payments or remittances from abroad, to complete their back-to-school shopping, and has advised them to be diligent in checking the differences in costs from various suppliers, as well as product availability, before making their final purchases.
She has also recommended, that parents make use of the soon-to-be-released textbook survey, noting that this would be helpful when comparing prices.
“Preliminary analysis has shown that in one particular parish, there is a textbook that is about $2,000 more than the other parishes. I would suggest that parents (ask) any relative or friend in another area, that could provide them with the textbook for a cheaper rate, because I think a $1,500 to $2,000 savings is worth the hassle,” she said.
The annual textbook survey covers primary and secondary level texts, and includes approximately 100 titles from some 66 stores in rural and urban communities.
Turning to the issue of emotional readiness for the new school year, Miss Campbell strongly urged that parents hold a family meeting prior to the start of school. This meeting, she suggested should facilitate discussion on what the new school year meant to each child, and help determine if there were any fears, insecurities, or challenges, that needed to be dealt with.
“The CAC stresses the family meeting at all cost. It doesn’t matter if you’re a typical unit – mother, father and children – or [if] you’re a single parent. It doesn’t matter. Family is family,” she emphasized. “So, you call a meeting, and you say ‘okay next week, our routine is going to change. these are the things we’re going to do’ and you write them down so that everybody understands what their duties are, and where they ought to be at what time,” she advised.
She noted also, that safety awareness was a critical element in back-to- school preparations, and reminded that children should be given safety guidelines. Parents should tell their children that they should not take rides from persons who claim to be sent by, or know their parents. Also, they should be advised to travel in groups, when possible, and told to secure the house properly if they are at home alone.