, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 3 – Primary schools re-opened on Tuesday across the country with parents spending more as prices of books and other essentials increased due to the harsh economic times.
After heavy spending in the festive Christmas and New Year holidays, parents were taken aback by the prices of textbooks and exercise books that have gone up by between 15 and 30 percent.
A textbook that previously sold at Sh300 has shot up by between Sh45 to Sh90 while a 64-page exercise book that previously sold at Sh14 now costs Sh18.
“What we used to pay for transport is now double. This has caused a ripple effect which has impacted us negatively. Right now everything is double,” Said Juma, a parent at the Jujaroad Primary school told Capital News.
The price of pens has also risen to between Sh15 shillings and Sh28, while ink prices have increased by between Sh10 and Sh14 per bottle.
“The government should intervene and reduce the price of books. We are all suffering and they should also focus on helping us out in this area,” another parent stated.
The textbooks price increase came after the government allowed book publishers to pass on a 15 percent hike on the recommended retail price of their products from January 1 given the high increase in the cost of living.
A spot check at a number of schools revealed that nearly all the students had reported for the first day of Term 1.
At Juja Road and Park Road Primary Schools, Capital News found students and teachers readying for the new academic year.
“The teachers are ready to teach and new students have been assigned classes,” Beatrice Sikuku, the Juja road Primary school headmistress said.
“All the students reported in good time and the teachers are also in,” said Ephraim Muregi, the Principal of Parkroad Primary school.
In Kisumu, long queues were seen in major shopping centres across the town as parents purchased different items to send their children to school.