Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 15, 2023 (SKNIS): Consumer Education helps families acquire the information needed to make informed decisions in the marketplace. With this in mind, the Consumer Affairs Department officially launched its first-ever “Consumer Education for Kids” Programme in three primary schools, namely, St. Paul’s, Saddlers and Dr. William Connor on March 14, as part of the week of activities in observance of World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) 2023.
In addressing the students and teachers, the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas, Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, said that it is important for students to be able to prioritize as consumers.
“We have come today to St. Paul’s to educate you to better prepare you for a better future… and ensure that you all participate in the lessons of ‘Consumer Education for Kids’ that we are bringing to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Minister Dr. Douglas. “We want you to know that you learn from your lesson, there are needs that you may have and there are wants. The lesson is really to properly educate you that when you are demanding things from your parents, they must be things that you need to keep you alive, advance you so that you are better able to learn and prepare you for the future.”
Director of the Consumer Affairs Department, Paul Queeley said it was extremely important to introduce the consumer programme in primary schools as students are increasingly targets of advertising and other forms of marketing thus they have to be educated about their rights and responsibilities as consumers.
“We recognize that children at your age are being exposed to being the actual purchasers of items such as snacks, video games and you even have the ability to influence your parents to make certain purchasing decisions,” said Mr. Queeley, while delivering remarks at the St. Paul’s Primary School. “With this in mind, this new classroom initiative will aim to offer consumer awareness to students at an early age in hope of creating a younger and more informed consumer base.”
Principal of the St. Paul’s Primary School, Mrs. Joyce Rawlins-Buchanan expressed thanks to the Consumer Affairs Department for such a timely programme.
“We are delighted to have you with us to launch the first-ever “Consumer Education for Kids” Programme in our school. We are thrilled and filled with anticipation with what this programme will be doing in the lives of our students and the community at large,” said Principal Rawlins-Buchanan. “This programme is extremely timely and relevant for our students as they will become empowered consumers.”
Similar remarks were given at the other two primary schools. The programme will also be rolled out in other schools across the island.
World Consumer Rights Day is celebrated on March 15 annually to promote the basic rights of all consumers, for demanding that those rights are respected and protected, and for protesting the market abuses and social injustices, which undermine them. This year, it is observed under the global theme “Empowering Consumers Through Clean Energy Transitions.”