Muscat: As parents and children are on a buying spree with the start of the new academic year and shop-keepers have launched 'Back to School' shopping festivals, the Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP) has come forward with a set of tips to save parents from 'unnecessary spending.'
The PACP has produced attractive info-graphics and cartoons and has posted them on social media urging parents to be smarter and supervise children if they want to purchase any item.
"There is always a difference between what you want and what you actually need," it said.
It has further said that before parents embark on making purchases along with their children, they should first make a list of things that are necessary and required when the schools are open.
The PACP campaign has started at a time when some of the community schools have already opened. Classes in the Omani schools will begin by the end of this month. Both Omani and expatriates are being seen in large numbers in the shopping malls to purchase dresses, schools bags and stationary items for their children.
Welcoming the PACP's drive to create awareness, parents in various shopping malls of the city told the Times of Oman that there were a lot of other things required to promote smarter spending when new academic year begins.
Mohammad Nassir, an Egyptian school marketing executive, said that the PACP should come forward with a comprehensive plan and coordinate with schools as well so that the consumers are saved from unnecessary spending.
"Even schools and shopping malls can coordinate during 'back to school' shopping festivals with innovative ideas so that the parents are not overburdened, particularly at this time of the academic year," he said.
Abdul Wahhab, a computer technician, said that the shopping festivals or schemes launched at the beginning of the new academic year are meant to lure children. "They know the social psychology that children would be able to push for certain items or brands.
This will be ultimately a win-win situation for these shopping malls, and must be discouraged," he said.
Sameera Abdul Kareem, an Algerian housewife, said: "From Ramadan to Eid, from birth to death and from education to marriage, everything has become commercialised in our society. This has undermined the actual importance of all individual occasions. This tendency must be curbed. What children would purchase for their education should only be decided by schools and parents and not children and shopping malls."
Tanweer Ahmad, a Pakistani accountant, said that the kind of competition in making purchases we saw in markets was disgusting.
"Friends of my children are purchasing all fashionable and costly stationary items from these markets. But I can't afford beyond a limit. The same may be the case with many others. It is always better to control the urge to buy at the advent of a new academic year," he complained.
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