Syrians are bracing for the new school year by starting to secure school supplies amidst a marked increase in prices, which has imposed new financial burdens on preparing for school.
“The school preparation season has returned, from clothing and stationery, and today I must add sterilizers and masks, which have become a necessity — especially with the return of the high rates of coronavirus infection,” Soraya told Athr Press, during a market tour.
“Prices have risen dramatically over the past year, the quality of materials has fallen, and incomes remain low,” she said.
“Three of my children are in school and the fourth is in college. I need three new high school uniforms and I can’t rely on last year’s clothes. Today, the price of pants is 20,000 Syrian pounds and a shirt is 18,000 Syrian pounds, Overall, the cost amounts to 114,000 Syrian pounds, without taking into account shoes, stationery, and bags,” said Heba, a nurse, and mother of four.
High prices and low turnout
“Prices increased by an estimated 70% compared to last year, with the price of school pants ranging from 15,000 to 25,000 Syrian pounds; meanwhile, shirts range from 10,000 to 20,000 Syrian pounds,” said one shopkeeper, who sold school clothes for between 10,000 and 20,000 Syrian pounds. The shopkeeper referred to the rise in the price of cloth, threads, workers’ wages, and the high price of gasoline on the black market. As to the latter factor, factories now primarily depend on gasoline for generators, due to power outages.
Demand for school supplies is very low due to their high prices and the dependence of the people on repairing old clothes. The same trend also applies to bags,” said Abu Aziz, the owner of a clothing store.
Stationery and School Bags
The prices of bags range from 7,000 to 45,000 Syrian pounds, because of the different quality of the bag cloth and the quality of the zipper.”
Stationery prices increased by 100% from last year when the price of 100-page wire notebooks was 500 Syrian pounds. Today, the wholesale price for these notebooks is 1,000 Syrian pounds and retails at 1,100 or 1,200 Syrian pounds.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.