11 January 2013

Namibia: Shopping Frenzy As School Year Starts

WITH schools all over the country starting next week, parents and their children are hitting the shops in search of school uniforms and other supplies.

This has caused an influx of people to the central business district of Windhoek over the past few days.

Yesterday, six-year-old Osho Antonio Max and his mother, Martha Amakali (37), were seen shopping for school uniforms for little Osho.

Starting the first grade next week at Diaz Primary School in Lüderitz, Osho is "very excited to be starting school," his mother said. "I am looking forward to accompanying him on the first day."

When asked how she felt about her 'baby' going to school, Amakali said she was not nervous or sad at all. "He's my first child starting school, but both Osho and I are very excited."

Being a former pupil of Diaz Primary School herself, Amakali said the choice of which school to send her son to was an obvious one to make. A contributing factor to their choice of school was the fact that Diaz Primary School is close to their home. Osho attended both the kindergarten and the pre-primary school at Diaz, which was another reason why they chose the school.

Although primary schooling will be free to all Namibian pupils from this year, Amakali said that it didn't affect them, as they had already paid Osho's school fees in October last year to secure a place for him.

Between 200 and 300 customers passed through the doors of a schoolwear shop in John Meinert Street to buy school uniforms. They have done brisk business with St Paul's and Delta Secondary School pupils, selling mostly socks, dresses and shoes.

According to a salesperson at a stationery shop, the implementation of free primary schooling has not affected their stationery sales. More than 2 000 customers passed through the doors of the Maerua Mall store, buying stationery, books and bags as requested by schools on their supply lists.

"Parents don't seem to be aware of school supplies being free this year, as our sales are exactly the same as last year," the employee said.

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