Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): The Bronte Welsh Primary School was this year's victor at the 2nd annual Department of Consumer Affairs Primary School Quiz, held on March 15, which aimed at imparting consumer knowledge to children and by extension their parents or guardians.
Consumer Affairs Officer, Vincent Fough, said that it is vital to educate consumers on their rights and responsibilities as they navigate in the market place. He said that children are essential to passing along that information.
"We figured in order to get our word out there, we utilized the children because they are the ones who pass along the message," said Mr. Fough. "Even though they are not persons of work and class, they are the ones most effective when it comes to spending or purchasing anything. So, the information we feed to the children they can feed it on to their parents who are working and would be spending the money on them."
Topics covered during the quiz included Consumer in the CARICOM, Competition Law and Policy, and A Wise Consumer. Other participating schools included the Immaculate Conception Catholic School, Tucker Clarke Primary School and the Violet-Petty Primary School. Mr. Fough said that the children were very knowledgeable of the topics presented.
"I must say for the second year and listening to some of the students I can see that they spent some time going through the questions and answers because the information was sent to them," he said. "I can see that a lot of them have learnt a lot from the quiz."
The consumer affairs officer explained why the department decided to have an annual quiz.
"We figured that having a quiz rather than a spelling B or a reading competition because through the quiz we know the children's minds would be ticking," he said. "So, therefore, whatever questions are being asked on a broad scenario, we think that the children should be able to answer those questions, and much more information from my personal view would be spread across all consumers."
Mr. Fough said that more schools and businesses should come on board to participate in the quiz.
"I just want to say from the Department of Consumers Affairs that we hope that other schools can partake in the next Consumer Affairs Primary School Quiz as well as business places out there to come on board, donate and contribute because whatever we collect from those business places we give back to the students and we give them material that they can read and move on in their life of education," he said.
Mr. Fough said that the Department of Consumer Affairs utilizes the week of activities as an opportunity to spread the word on consumer's rights and responsibilities as well as other information that can benefit consumers.
"Without the consumers, businesses cannot survive and once the consumers know their rights and responsibilities and as long as consumers are educated in consumer matters, we figure that business places will be better off," he said. "They may be able to have a better business going. They would survive in the competition and anybody who opens a business has competition and for you to get consumers you have to be competitive and without being a competitive business person consumers would not patronize the business."
Other activities planned for the week of activities include the funeral service of the late Charlton Edwards, Permanent Secretary in the Department of Consumer Affairs, prize giving to persons who participated in the recent Consumer Affairs radio programme and to wrap up, an island wide motorcade, which will be held on Saturday, March 18 at 11:00 a.m. to reach out to persons in the rural areas to familiarize them with the recently launched Consumer Affairs App, The SKN Shopper.