Back to school
On Monday, Czech schoolchildren will return to their classrooms after two months, among them some 93,000 first graders. In recent weeks, we've seen some serious back-to-school preparations. The contents of shop windows changed from swimsuits and inflated toys to schoolbags, pencils and the like. Also, reports on television have been showing how much all the school supplies are costing parents this year.
It used to be so much different some 20 years ago. Retailers did not advertise because they did not have much to offer. The return to school seemed to be much less dramatic. You got a bag, a pencil case, a pair of slippers (yes, Czechs do change shoes in schools) and that was it. No cones filled with sweets, maybe just a little toy in the morning for the excited first graders.
This year, the parents of 83 percent of first graders have received 1,000 crowns from the government towards school supplies, 82 million crowns in total. But as everything has become more expensive, some parents have complained it doesn't cover the needs.
I guess every generation has to put up with their own different types of nuisances. While a few decades ago, it was tiresome and endless speeches about the importance of education for world peace and socialism, today it is having to face the pressure of commerce. In this case, frankly, I don't know which is worse.