Demand for school supplies drops in Kazakhstan due to distance learning
The last week of August is traditionally the most active period of shopping for parents of schoolchildren in Kazakhstan. This year, they are not going to attack stationery stores and buy goods for the school year. Residents said that the preparations for September 1 are calmer. People even do not need some purchases now due to the epidemiological situation and extension of the distance learning.
“I have three kids, two of them study at school, and another became a student. We do not rush to purchase stationery because of the online learning. Otherwise, we carry out an inventory every year. We’ve prepared only notebooks and pens. The main thing is that we have Wi-Fi and laptops for online learning. I told a teacher that we do not have one more computer for one of the kids. Then the class teacher filled out a form and the school administration provided us with a computer,” said Gulzhanar Bakhytkyzy, mother with many children.
Nowadays, the basic set for a school student involves notebooks, pens and gadgets. However, to the usual purchases added the personal protective equipment such as masks and antiseptics. Parents procure them in case if their children will be asked to go back to school for offline learning.
“We have already bought everything. There is no need to purchase backpacks and new school uniform due to the distance learning. Fairs with school supplies are held in Nur-Sultan every year. Prices have not increased, and, on the contrary, many things became even cheaper prior to the beginning of the school year. I bought masks and hand sanitizers for my son. I will not let him go to school without them,” a mother of 14-year-old Zhandos, Zhanna Kurmangaliyeva, shared.
As expected, the demand for school supplies has dropped significantly. The stationery stores owners stated the same. Entrepreneur Anna Mutovkina said that the number of customers decreased at least twice compared to the last year. The average check of the buyer also changed as Kazakh residents try to buy stationery at lower prices for the upcoming school year.
“Prices for items, except for office paper, remained at the same level. In total, the demand dropped owing to distance learning. We do have customers, but they are mostly trying to buy the stationery at a low price. They choose the most inexpensive of all products. Mainly, they buy only the most essential stationery, which are pens and ordinary notebooks,” Mutovkina said.
Kazakh students will begin the upcoming academic year in a remote learning model due to the current epidemiological situation in the country. At the request of the parents, the schools will have duty classes for students in grades one to four.