| Rokiah Mahmud & Wani Roslan |
SEVERAL bookstores in the country have become the focus of attention of parents and their children, who want to purchase their back-to-school items, especially with government servants receiving their annual bonus yesterday.
As most of the bookstores only opened at 9am, many parents and children waited patiently outside as they checked their lists of textbooks and workbooks needed for next year’s school term.
The Bulletin yesterday approached two popular bookstores in town to get their views on the back-to-school preparations and observed the crowds of parents and their children picking up the school essentials.
Mohamed Rafi Haji Tejuddin, Branch Manager of Samima Sdn Bhd Bookstores & Stationeries, told the Bulletin that prior to the issuance of the government bonus, a number of parents had already come to the store’s branches to purchase school items such as books, uniforms, shoes and stationery.
“We also offer a booking system for parents to purchase the school books so that they do not need to rush or worry if they plan to go abroad for a vacation. All they need to do is provide us with their booklist and a deposit, and we try our best to prepare all the books. We have already received more than 700 bookings from customers,” he added.
In conjunction with the back-to-school promotion, many bookstores are offering special promotions and discounts on items such as school bags, stationery and shoes. However, textbooks and workbooks are excluded from this promotion as their prices are controlled by the Ministry of Education, he said.
“To meet the demand for school books, we have ordered more from our supplier so that parents will not have to rush here and there to buy the items on their lists. At our stores, almost all of the (items of the) booklists are available. Some books such as Pendidikan Pencegahan Rasuah (Corruption Prevention Education) are still in the printing process, but we hope that the book will be available at our bookstores before school starts.”
He added that Samima’s vision is to be a one-stop bookstore which meets all the needs of customers’ school and office needs under one roof. “Our 30 years of experience have made us among the most prominent bookstore in the Sultanate and this is evident with more than 15,000 likes that we got on our Facebook fanpage,” he shared.
In an interview with the Bulletin, Purchasing Manager of Bismi Trading Company of Gadong Branch, Rahman, said that Bismi Trading Company has been well-prepared for the back-to-school preparations since the month of October.
The company has also received coupons issued by Pengiran Muda Mahkota Al-Muhtadee Billah Fund for Orphans (DANA), worth $70 each, which helps orphans to buy school stationeries.
“About 99 per cent of the books which are sought by parents and students will be available in the shops before the commencement of the school session next year. Although, we do not have a booking system, we assure that we have enough stock,” he added.
He confirmed that two books – Pendidikan Pencegahan Rasuah (Corruption Prevention Education) for Year 1 to Year 11 and Gateway to English Year 1 and Year 2 – are still being printed.
Bismi Trading Company – established in 1978 – has two branches in the capital, Gadong and Serusop, and three other branches in Tutong, Seria and Belait.