Taskina Pritha completed the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exam just before Covid-19 arrived in Bangladesh in March last year.
She got the result later in the virus-led countrywide shutdown, and got admitted to Bir Shreshtha Noor Mohammad Public College for her higher secondary study.
Since then, the college student had been joining online classes and subsequently completed the first year without having a set of collage uniform, shoes and a new bag.
As the schools were announced to reopen on 12 September, thrilled Pritha Sunday ordered her college uniform at a dress-maker adjacent to the education institution, and bought a pair of shoes.
Like her, many students rushed to tailoring shops, footwear outlets, bookstores and stationery shops — bringing the education related businesses to life.
Tailors in Elephant Road and New Market areas said they have been getting more orders for school uniforms.
"More and more guardians have been coming for new school dresses since the last two days," said Mohammad Sohag, manager of tailoring chain Top Ten.
"We have got seven school dress orders today. The customer pressure is likely to be huge next Friday," he added.
At shoe stores in Elephant Road, the demand for school shoes was high.
"Student footwear sales amount to 6% of our annual business. Sales of the category are now gaining momentum," said Hafiz Khan, a store manager at Bata at Elephant Road outlet.
On Monday morning, Viqarunnisa Noon School & College campus was found crowded by students as Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) students came for assignment submission – an alternative to in person classes during the pandemic-led closure.
The school adjacent "Theatre Corner" library had a huge crowd since morning as students were buying books, stationery items while some came to copy the class hand-outs. Four of the employees there had been struggling with the customers.
"The reopening announcement has spiralled the sales. It would go up further once the school reopens," said Rajib, a salesperson at the shop.
Anwara Begum, a guardian who was buying stationery items, said she had already ordered a school dress for her daughter Sunday.
Leather Museum, a school bag seller in Dhaka's Shahbagh, said it was looking for school reopening. Delwar Hossain came to buy school bags for his two kids there. He said he already had the school dresses made.
There are about 2 lakh educational institutions with 4.5 crore students from pre-primary to university level in the country. According to media reports, businesses based on the academic activities of students have lost around Tk50,000 crore until January this year.
Books depots and stationery stores in Dhaka's Nilkhet were also vibrant as students had been coming in droves.
"The recent sales are good," said Rakib of Nandail Book Store.
Amir Hosen Khokon, vice-president of Islamic Market Multipurpose Cooperative Society in Nilkhet, said the market has more than 400 bookstores. Their sales are likely to grow at least by 20% after the school reopening.
Rokibul Islam, a Nilkhet stationery trader, said sales were comparatively better.
"The per day business was around Tk14,000 in the pre-pandemic times that plummeted to Tk2,000. It has turned around to Tk5,000-Tk6,000 now after the school reopening announcement," he added.