With children returning to school on February 1, CI News took a look at the cost of sending youngsters to school on Rarotonga.
One parent, who asked not to be identified, told CI News sending her daughter to school gobbled up a big chunk of her budget.
In fact it will cost $300 to get everything she needs for her 11-year-old daughter who attends Avarua Primary School and this doesn’t, of course include, ongoing costs such as her daily lunches.
It covers school uniforms and stationery including items such as pens, rulers, colouring pencils, pencil case, spare exercise books, erasers and more.
Then there’s that very essential item, a lunch box, as well as a water bottle, hair ties and other essentials girls need.
“The older my daughter gets, the more costly her schooling expenses become as there are more expensive requirements such as calculators and reading books,” said another parent.
On Rarotonga, most parents buy their children’s school uniforms are from either Vonnias or Tuki’s and Bounty Bookstore sells a wide array of stationery.
The cost of equipping a new entrant for school is similar to that of a student who has previously attended school, as they have the same necessities.
Pays to encourage your children to look after their school gear well – though of course youngsters are notorious for ignoring this particular piece of advice.
If you have more than one child, you can sometimes cut costs by handing down their uniforms to the next child in line.
“It becomes a hassle when my children lose their stationery half way through the year, because it means I have to go and buy some more,” a parent said.
“For all the other parents out there, I encourage you to get to know your child and make time for them. Being there really helps and I think you should pray that they become successful in making positive choices.”