When employees were released from work earlier on Friday to give them the opportunity to stock up on food ahead of the mandatory three-day lockdown, many of them instead rushed to bookstores to acquire items that were featured on their children’s book lists.
With online classes officially starting today, large crowds overwhelmed staff at Half-Way Tree bookstores, with long lines of people waiting to enter stores before they closed. Some buyers have questioned whether this was a wise decision to buy textbooks, due to the uncertainty over whether face-to-face prices will resume.
At Bryan’s Bookstore in Springs Plaza, a teacher from Grade Start Academy, a preparatory school in St Elizabeth, was among those who wanted to avoid the rush for supplies.
“It is an online school, so we need to get our materials to be able to work better from home,” she said, adding that great preparation was needed to effectively follow the program and adequately meet the needs. student learning.
Ivalyn Bryan, whose daughter will take the Caribbean Secondary School Certificate exams next year, said she “will be making a uniform, just in case.” No school shoes yet, she added, as she will closely follow reports from the Education Ministry regarding the reopening of face-to-face classes. Admitting that his child’s grades were not as good as they could have been, Bryan said this was due to the lack of physical teacher-student interaction in the classroom learning environment. However, she is hopeful that better days are ahead this year, anticipating the school will reopen soon so her daughter’s grades “improve.”
Purchase of all textbooks
Meanwhile, parents at Sangster Bookstore said that regardless of the uncertainty, they will purchase all of the textbooks shown on the book listings. A customer said she would always buy the books because she would help her son understand his lessons, describing himself as “her second teacher”.
A parent who gave her name only as McClarty, said she expected this school year to be “the same as last year,” noting the great challenge of online learning for students and students. parents. As a parent who cannot work from home, McClarty said she has to transport her child to a different location to enable her studies online. Although she bought much of the textbooks for her child, she exclaimed that “books are very expensive” with each list of books requiring parents to buy a laptop or tablet.
Because of this, McClarty said she wants the government to help parents by giving them an incentive, as many families face financial burdens from the pandemic.
Jody Ann, an employee at Sangster’s Bookstore, said people come out but are still hesitant about whether the textbooks should be purchased. “People buy small amounts … it’s mostly stationery than textbooks,” she added. The employee informed The gleaner that she saw where the Primary Exit Profile books are sold at a faster rate, where “parents are trying to get as much as they can” despite the uncertainties.