Back-to-school rush heats up as Bhisho prepares for 2020

Shoppers seen at a stationery shop in Vincent East London as kids and parents prepare for the back to school rush.
Shoppers seen at a stationery shop in Vincent East London as kids and parents prepare for the back to school rush.

With matric results now out of the way, the focus has turned to the return of 1.7 million Eastern Cape pupils to school on Wednesday January 15.

At the start of the 10-week first term, education MEC Fundile Gade is expected to make visits to schools to offer support to pupils attending school for the first time.

He will also check on whether plans put in place ahead of the new school year have been implemented.

The Eastern Cape Class of 2019 recorded SA’s biggest improvement in matric results with a 76.5% pass rate, the highest since the advent of democracy.

As we celebrate the achievements, we are still painfully aware that there is a long way to go in providing all children in the province with quality education,” Gade said.

He said 95% of schools had received their workbooks, textbooks and stationery in December.

“The remaining 5% will receive their books in January.

“We have furniture in stock to address shortages.

“The teacher development prospectus has been developed and circulated.

“Plans are in place for the timeous transfer of funds to schools and good progress has been made in enrolling pupils in schools,” Gade said.

With just five days before schools reopen, clothing stores and stationery shops are bracing for the last-minute back-to-school shopping rush.

Kei Uniforms sales manager Collin Russell told the Dispatch on Thursday sales had increased since Monday.

He said more than 100 parents and pupils had visited the store on Thursday morning alone.

“Every year is different because of the dates schools open, and this year they are starting much earlier.

“Business has been steady at the moment.

“We have enough stock and we are seeing parents being positive about their children going to school.

“The matric results improvement will also mean parents have more confidence in their children,” he said.

“The little ones have been excited to put on their new uniforms.

“A clean uniform boosts the child’s self-esteem. When they put the uniform on they will switch back to 'study mode'.

“If parents are battling with costs they should buy the necessary items like socks, shirts and tunics. The blazer and jersey can come later.”

He said shopper numbers were expected to increase next week.

Parents should also try to do their school shopping in December and as soon as they get their children’s school needs list.

“Our back-to-school specials started in November last year.”

Maclear Wholesale Stationers manager Rod Jonkers said exam pads were the most sought-after item.

“It has been busy since Monday and we expect more rush-hour shopping next week,” he said.

Parent Zolani Fadana said: “I budgeted from January last year so that I can buy most things in December to avoid going to cash loans before schools open.”

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