Is education a luxury Looshans can’t afford?

As a newly exited school leaver, I had no idea my parents were spending so much, just for the basic back-to-school amenities. Before I was tasked with researching the actual dollar figure attached to sending kids back to school, I honestly believed it was nothing more than a trivial task. I am now flabbergasted after speaking with a number of my fellow co-workers, who are all parents. Well, summer has come to an end, and I now understand the headache most parents would get when sourcing back-to-school necessities.

A few people in some cases won’t understand the struggles that parents go through when they’re meeting the bills that are generally high-priced.

After my own research, I gathered that every new school year, parents are obliged to spend an average of twenty five hundred dollars, generally less for primary school students and more for those at high school. Needless to say, this average amount is per child.

What a pretty penny to spend, going back to school.

What a pretty penny to spend, going back to school.

During my last interview with the Human Resource manager in my office, I was left gasping for breath as she explained, item by item, the cost of sending her daughter to secondary school.

Textbooks, exercise books and work books alone amount to $1,500; then there is stationery which includes geometry sets, pens and pencils, rulers, erasers, calculators, etc. which effortlessly adds another $200 to bail out. School bags, lunch kits and pencil cases add several hundred dollars, even more for “designer” products that most kids demand. Wow!

Let’s not forget about the most important item of all: school uniforms. Costing less than textbooks, yet still pricey at $500 and up.

Uniforms include overalls at $60, shirts starting at $25 (keeping in mind the bigger the shirt, the higher the price), trousers and shorts at $40, P.E uniforms at $60, vests costing $25-30 per packet of 2-3 vests plus shoes and socks starting at $100 but way more for brand names. Last but not least, school registration fees ranging from $60 to $125. These are all items I used in school, but I never expected the prices to add up to such an expense.

It’s no surprise that parents are under pressure when it comes to meeting all those expenses, far less for the low-income families who are already struggling to send their children to school. Thankfully, there is some assistance, limited though it may be, from the government and corporate society.

The government agency SSDF issues a yearly bursary of approximately $500 to low-income families who apply, helping to “fill a gap”. Corporate citizens such as hoteliers, telecommunication businesses and privately-owned entities also see fit to lend a helping hand during a financially strained period.

I now appreciate the sacrifices that some parents make to put their children through school.

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One Response to Is education a luxury Looshans can’t afford?

  1. DANIEL LIONEL says:

    British Army needs soldiers from the Commonwealth to apply now
    Published on September 8, 2016 Email To Friend Print Version

    LONDON, England — Commonwealth nationals may now apply for a number of specialist roles in the British Army thanks to new rules introduced by the government.

    british_army.jpg The British Army has welcomed soldiers from Commonwealth countries for many years; however, under previous rules, people could only join if they had lived in the UK for five years.

    Commonwealth nationals will now be able to apply for positions including medical technician, logistic supply specialist, chef, vehicle mechanic, metalsmith and gunner logistics specialist.

    General Chris Tickell, General Officer Commanding, Army Recruiting and Training Division, said: “We are delighted that key roles have been opened up to people from across the Commonwealth who are non-resident in the UK. The service given by soldiers from Commonwealth countries helps the Armed Forces to defend the UK at home and abroad, and we look forward to welcoming more Commonwealth recruits following the introduction of the new regulations.”

    A specialist Commonwealth recruiter spokesperson said: “We’re looking for candidates that are physically fit, can communicate well in both written and spoken English and can self-fund travel to the UK to attend one of the Army development and selection centres. Full details of the Army recruitment and selection process can be found on the Army website.”

    For more information about how people from the Commonwealth can apply for the Army without UK residency, visit

    As an Army soldier:

    • You are offered over 500 different qualifications, from GCSE to degrees, including all kinds of professional and practical qualifications in areas such as chartered engineering and accountancy that will build up your CV.

    • You will start on an annual salary of £18,305 after training, plus pension. In comparison, the UK’s national average apprentice earns £6,846 and may not have job security at the end of their apprentice.

    • You will be offered a clear career structure with annual pay rises and a clear promotion path.

    • You receive six weeks paid leave, plus bank holidays.

    • You have access to free gym, sports facilities and the chance to train with the very best coaches. You could play in overseas tournaments or on international stages like Twickenham.

    • You have opportunities to travel overseas for operations, sport and peacekeeping, from training in Kenya to supporting the UN in Cyprus.

    • You can take up adventurous training from mountaineering in the Himalayas, to sky-diving in Florida.

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