As children and young school goers, we have most certainly resented the same old drab uniform we had to don every morning, and the agony was probably even greater if we happened to see around us other school goers who did not have to wear a uniform. Our parents probably had to periodically go through a pretty difficult time trying to get us to wear the uniform and keep us from adding our own touches to it- our own little ways of rebellion. Back then, we would have been pretty surprised to know that not even all our parents approved of the whole school uniform thing. Yet, despite opposition from school goers and some parents since decades, the uniform has continued to exist.
In this article, let us see what makes the uniform such a fixture, and why some are so insistent in calling it a day for the attire.
The benefits ?
Let us first hear the opinions of the uniform advocates.
A school uniform is a mark of identity. Just like there is a particular attire assigned to the different segment of a nation’s military and emergency services, similarly, a school uniform makes the child separate from the rest of the population. And donning the same uniform increases the feeling of solidarity among the school going population. A child of s particular school will always be able to identify himself or herself with their peers by dint of the same school uniform.
Every parent will agree that dressing a child in the morning in time for school is not mean task. And while the teenager dresses themselves, the time they often take to dress is also not always conducive to school timings. School uniforms take a lot out of that hassle by forcing the child to wear the same dress, thus throwing the whole aspect of choosing the right attire out of the window. Besides, school uniforms are relatively inexpensive, and there is no need to change one every year unless it wears down or the child grows out of it.
Little policing required
A school uniform also makes the job much easier for the school teachers and administrators. There is a reduced requirement for teachers to look out of anomalies in way students dress, that is, whether the clothes are inappropriate or promoting racial prejudices. This also takes the similar pressure off the minds of the parents, although certain policing still has to be undertaken to ensure that students do not deviate from the school uniform norms in any manner.
Aids in investigation
In a more distant relation, the school uniform is also extremely important if the unfortunate incident of a child going missing occurs. If the child was in school uniform at the time of disappearance, it makes it much easier for the investigators to look for and locate the missing child.
The disadvantages ?
All said and done, there is enough to say against school uniforms as well.
School uniforms are all about uniformity, and some parents raise concerns that this suppresses the child’s ability to express themselves. The way one dresses is a great expression of what one is, and by imposing a dress code with a uniform, schools can prevent students from expressing themselves. In a bigger issue, the need for expression might manifest itself in potentially harmful ways like body piercings and tattoos, which might be more difficult to monitor.
Unsympathetic with religious attire
Since school uniforms are all about dressing the same, they might not always be conducive to religious clothing. Different religions have their own dictums on dressing, and that might not be in keeping with the dress codes followed by schools. For instance, the yarmulke and the burqa are very distinctive religious attire, and not all schools uniforms might allow this expression of adherence to one’s faith. This is not just limited to clothing, but to other forms of attire, such as religious jewelry.
The great school uniform debate has been here for a long time, and from the way things look right now, it is here to stay. In this article, we have tried to look at both sides of the topic, and it seems like there is a fair amount of support for proponents of both sides. From some perspectives, it seems as though we do not need school uniforms at all; from others, they appear to be an essential part of the schooling experience. In the end, it all depends on the personal point of view which schools around the world have seemingly embraced; while some schools employ a strict uniform policy, some schools have done away with it altogether.
Are you in favor of wearing uniform in school? Share your views in the comments below.