Ministry determines costs of equipping young scholars

An economic ministry survey said that parents have to pay from 80,495 to 101,463 colons to get a child ready for the opening of school Feb. 6. That is about $164 to about $206.50.

A big item is the obligatory uniform that the child will wear, according to the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio.

Ministry staffers surveyed 19 businesses including 13 that sell uniforms. They also checked prices on 14 items listed as necessary for youngsters by the various schools.

Depending on the quality and where the items were purchased, shoes for a schoolgirl cost from 5,990 to 25,995 colons or from about $12.20 to $53.

The survey also showed major differences in the same or similar items, depending on the store, the ministry said.

The Ministerio de Educación Pública publishes a list of obligatory items before the start of classes each year. The list includes notebooks, pencils, erasers, glue, dictionaries and other items, depending on the grade. Parents are on the prowl now seeking these items, and stores are catering to the market.

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