Should school uniforms be chucked off?
Should school uniforms be chucked off?
School is a place where major part of a child’s personality develops and shapes into the way he/she is going to lead the life. Every small part of the school life is a crucial element in the whole process of development – the sports, friends, teachers, activities, and school uniforms. Studies have shown that school uniform helps in the overall development of a child. However, some extremists are of the view that it is high time when these uniforms should be banned in schools and children should be given the freedom to wear what they choose to wear. Just a few years back, uniforms were made compulsory in some of the colleges across India. The same people who might have supported this decision back then, for their belief that youths dress up inappropriately if given the freedom, are now condemning the long followed rule.
Advantages of school uniforms:
1. Uniformity: The best advantage of school uniforms is the sense of equality it incurs. Some children in a certain school might be from not so well to do families and for them it would be really stressful to decide what to wear each day in comparison to what their friends wear. When there is a single set of uniform for all, this bridge is narrowed to a great extent.
2. Aesthetical value: School uniforms are aesthetically appeasing, lessening the stress among students and incurring a sense of willingness to be educated. There is dress code we have for every sphere of life, be it work or celebration or mourning. The reasons behind these dress codes are not rules but the mood that is created with these kinds of dresses. The same is true for school uniforms. It gives children a sense of responsibility that they are there to study.
3. Being spotted: Students fleeing from school for fun or mingling in wrong activities after school can easily be spotted if they are in uniform. It would be easy for police or the citizens to get alert if they are diverting in the wrong direction. The same can be said about special concessions that students get in buses, entertainment zones, exhibitions, etc. School uniforms provide recognition to the developing buds which are more prone to being moved in this age.
4. Pride: Uniforms incur a sense of pride amongst students of an Alma Mater when they have to participate in an inter-school competition. This is how they are distinguished from the students of other school and easily recognized as the student of a particular school. Remember how we used to walk tall with chins raised with pride in any of those inter-school competitions. Even now when I come across students of the school where I graduated, I can see myself smiling and going into a flashback of our own school days and how we had looked in that uniform.
5. Other issues: India has currently to deal with more serious issues than putting a ban on the uniforms at school for no good reason. Above all, India is not ready to make this change as of now. Banning school uniforms would further stir the moral police who would lay down more rules regarding what type of dresses girls should wear at school.
Disadvantages of school uniforms:
1. Individuality: Studies have shown that students find it difficult to express themselves in schools that have uniforms. The freedom of choice and expressing through dressing is lost. In a country like India where people of different community, caste and culture live together and have different ways of dressing, it is like banning children from wearing what they prefer to wear. Instead of focusing on uniformity students need to be taught to respect each other irrespective of their community and what they wear.
2. Uniformity lost: Talking of uniformity, these days some advanced schools have different sets of uniforms for different activities and even different days. Is it really just on the part of the financially backward parents to afford these dresses? And that’s not all. Uniforms change once students go from one class to the other. This is a waste of money and unjust on the part of those parents who work really hard to afford the education of their children in a better school.
3. Teenage problems: Teens involve in gang activities and usually get into competing with students of other schools. Uniforms make them easily targetable by the students of other school who can bully them or even worse, beat them up. In this rebellious age, uniforms can also be a reason why the student might start disliking the school. The comfort level in school uniforms is also lesser than what one wears casually at home.
4. Other studies: Contrary to what scholars say, some studies have shown that uniform does not improve academic performance of a child or the way he/she develops in life. In fact, there are studies that show students who went to schools with uniforms have a bad dressing sense later in life.
It would be best to allow the children of a school poll and decide what they want as dress codes. There can be uniformity in colours of the dresses but there should be choices in ways of wearing them. However, school uniforms are actually the least bothering factor that needs attention right now. There are more serious issues that need to be tackled like corruption in education system, ways of providing valued education to the underprivileged and providing financial support to those deprived of these rights.
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