4 January 2013

Rwanda: Traders Cash in On Back to School Shoppers

Parents, guardians of primary and secondary school students across the country have started shopping for school material ahead of the new academic year.

Students and pupils have not been left out of the shopping frenzy as well, with most queuing up in various supermarkets and stationery shops to buy different school items to be used at school.

According to Anathole Dusenge, the in charge of finance at Librairie Ikirezi, the stationery shop has for the past three days been receiving clients in their hundreds. This is just one of the many shops around the country that is catering for the needs of students.

"We are now receiving so many clients that it is sometimes difficult to serve them. The customers, about three times what we normally receive started coming in after the festive season," he said.

Dusenge said yesterday alone, they attended to about 250 customers, all buying all sorts of scholastic material. He expects the number to double today and tomorrow.

Innocent Ngirinshuti, a resident of Kacyiru sector in Gasabo district was among the hundreds of customers who waited to buy school materials for his five children - two in secondary and three in primary - at the Librairie Ikirezi yesterday.

"I came today to buy school materials because schools open next week and by then I will not have time to buy anything," said Ngirinshuti.

Like Ngirinshuti, Erias Bugingo, a father of three from Kimisagara sector anticipates a rise in the prices of materials next week.

"It is not good to buy anything at the last moment. So I will queue here until I have everything I want instead of coming back next week," he told The New Times.

Dusenge also advised clients to start shopping in advance in order to avoid last minute hustle.

Parents and guardians have also started paying school fees for the first term.

Egide Sibomana, who was waiting to pay school fees for his two children in Bank of Kigali said he decided to pay the school dues early to avoid long queues.

"I have an experience of long queues when students go back to school, I want to do it today since my children are leaving for school on Sunday," said Sibomana.

The academic year for primary and secondary schools starts on January 7, and the ministry of education has urged transport agencies, parents, guardians and teachers to play their role so that schools open on time.

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