Every summer, in UAE, it is always exciting for the trade marketing professionals to figure out the promo packs for the students prior to the opening of schools. Almost every company would work out their national and store promotions exclusively meant for the students.
Back to school promotion is one of the top most priority for their promo calendar and also there is a proper budget provision for it, so as to meet the demand and fight the competition. It provides them an opportunity to grab more market share and could sustain on decent sales figures provided they do the best and win their hearts.
There used to be a lot of sales hustle as the families would return from the vacations and every parent would be looking forward to these offers. Before the opening of schools, at least parents would spend a week or two to visit the markets or malls for the shopping spree.
Being a sales professional, it used to be a great learning experience for me as I got a chance to work with the specialists from diverse fields for the cross functional executions. This event is considered as one of the highly valuable activity during which everyone wants to contribute for the welfare of the students.
From lolly pop to laptops, bags, beverages, bakery items, theme parks, theaters, tiffins, toys, anything you can ask for, are stocked up and offered at the best discounted prices. The main purpose of the campaign is to boost the morale of students. These initiatives are taken by many sectors and sections of the society to make them feel extra special.
I also had an opportunity to service not only super-markets like Spinneys but schools as well where it was not all about profits margins. I had worked with the top notch brands of GCC. My flagship brands included Tiffany Drinks, London Diary Milk Shakes, London Diary Ice Creams. It gave me immense joy to meet the expectations of the school children when my promos were approved and offered to them at the school food kiosks.
It does not come as a surprise to see police officials distributing the gifts to the kids. They love to engage them in discussion about how important they are for the foundation of great nation. They share with them the insights on courage and character building.
On the onset of schools, the ruler of Dubai, makes it a point to greet the students, parents and teachers with the emphasis on moral and qualitative education. He is often seen visiting the educational institutions for interaction with the students. This is how the great nations are flourished and formed when there is more than 100 percent involvement and interest keenly taken by the ruler. There is no excuse and reason for others not to follow their leader.
In Kashmir, we have a very sad and strange scenario. In view of the recent disturbances, this year much earlier On 24th Feb 20, the new academic session has been kick started. 1.3 million students are attending their classes after an obnoxious break of seven months due to the unrest caused by the bifurcation of state into UT`S and abrogation of article 370. This year's harsh winter was also mysterious and miserable.
No doubt, in this part of the world, shopkeepers and suppliers are also familiar with the concept of 'Back To School' but for them it is an opportunity to charge the items at higher rates leaving the compassion and competition aside. The scene is very pathetic at the Hair saloons and uniform selling outlets.
Take or Leave it, doesn't matter for them, as no one cares to question them how reasonable they are with the customers.They don't feel like there should be something for our children to cherish, to bring back those lost smiles.
We have been left with no choice but to remain mute spectators of our sufferings.We are helpless to question anyone. Not only parents and students, even those private school teachers who are tirelessly working to arrange the assignments and attending their duties have not been paid for many months. How are they supposed to welcome their students whole heartedly.
Once again, it will be the repeat of the same story when the fee and other academic charges will be hiked without giving any heed and adherence to the government orders. The economic crisis which has broken our back will not be taken into account to charge what is feasible and affordable. When people couldn't come to terms with the current political situation, they will be again pushed against the wall.
Forget about freebies and discounts, our children are bearing the brunt of political, economical crises at every front. Imagine the condition of those poor students who couldn't efford to pay for their tuitions and rely upon the Internet to learn and keep themselves updated.
Unfortunately it's not just an alternative but has become necessity which has been snapped without any due consideration on the consequences that these ambitious students are facing.Each passing day they are loosing the opportunities due to communication gag.
It is high time for 'those' at the helm of affairs to rethink and act on the realistic lines and provide the freedom to our children, so that they can also enjoy their space. We can efford and down the line can also bear the economic losses but loss of precious academic years is the tragedy which cannot be compensated at any cost. If not anything, at least and at last, we are having sigh of relief that our children are ' back to school’. They deserve our warmth and welcome. Make it memorable for them.
Teachers and all other stakeholders have to play their respective roles with more determination and sincerity. They should put every effort to make the best utilization of the available time. Still under the reeling of uncertainty and unrest; we have kept our fingers crossed. We pray that God forbid, our children don't have to suffer anymore due to another tragic summer.