Back to School in Manilva

Well, the kids have been back to school for a couple of weeks now and we are slowly getting back to the routine of early nights and early mornings!
But, this time of year is a nightmare for us mums – running from bookshop to bookshop trying to locate textbooks and and various other stationary items that the teachers have only just decided the kids “must” have.
When I first moved to Spain, you had to pay for the school books and stationary. On the first or second day back, the kids would bring home a long list of books and another of materials that they need, at off we’d trot to the local bookshop. At least €200 later, you’d leave with some of the stuff and then spend the rest of the month trying to locate the missing bits. Nothing was ever priced and I’m sure they made half the prices up!!
Over the last few years, things have changed a lot. The government now pays for the textbooks for all compulsory schooling (ages 6-16) but instead of the schools ordering the books and then distributing them amongst the kids, each child is issued with a “cheque libro” (book voucher). The books are expected to last 3 years so your child won’t get a voucher every year. The children are expected to take care of the books and the books are returned to school and inspected at the end of the year. If the book is damaged (I think slight creases are acceptable..), then the parents must pay for the book!
Normally, if your child is getting a cheque libro for for the following year, it is given out in June with the final report so you have all summer to get the books. Having said that, you can guarantee that it will be towards the end of September at the earliest before you have all the books. I ordered my daughter’s books mid July and we finally collected them last week – a week after she went back to school!!
My son was given his cheque libro on his second day at school this year (well, actually, us mums had to collect it from the school between 10am and 1pm!). I thought, “great, if we’ve only just got the cheque, it’ll be ages before we get all the books” but I was wrong….
There is a new bookshop in Sabinillas, Papeleria Jeni.
Located in the square, behind the taxi rank, the owner is really on the ball. She had inside information that the school would be giving out the cheque libros late and had already been to Malaga to get all the books. So, by the the third day at school my son had (almost) all his books….still waiting for the English book but even the owner of the bookshop is having trouble sourcing it – but, hey, we can’t expect miracles!!!
I’d thoroughly recommend this bookshop. The staff are friendly and efficient and generally, if they say something will be in on Tuesday, it is in on Tuesday…