The idea of schools requiring a uniform poses many questions for parents and students. School uniforms can benefit the learning environment, but can also provide some issues for students throughout the school day. Some of these issues include costs, free expression, stop bullying of the students who have ‘old’ clothes or hand-me downs and academic performance.
Traditionally uniforms were favoured in private parochial institutions. Today, school uniforms are being adopted in increasing numbers in both private and public schools. The only people left who are agreeable to uniforms are children when they are young. To them, it is a rite of passage to the grown-up world. As soon as they become teenagers, it becomes a subject for debate. By the time that they hit the adolescence stage, this is when they try to express their individuality and mostly, it’s through fashion.
Advantages of having school uniforms:
The schools do have good reasons for having all students wear the same uniforms. They do it to instill discipline as they know the importance of school uniform in learning institutions. Also, uniforms do help in the elimination of school violence.
School uniforms help in saving parents money since they are cost effective. Wearing trendy and designer clothes every day to school is an expensive affair, especially to those parents that strain to make ends meet for their children.
School uniforms go a long way in promoting the school’s spirit. A spirit of togetherness and unity is inspired. You can witness the spirit when the students are participating in school activities such as competitions outside of the school. The uniform automatically ignites a higher sense of school pride.
A school uniform makes it easier for the school authorities to recognize students belonging to their school. Also there are no daily battles regarding what’s appropriate or not for school.
A school uniform apparently also saves students from putting their fashion tastes before their learning requirements. When they don’t have to spend time wondering how to make a fashion statement, they can devote more time on their education.
The primary reason as to why the society and schools emphasize on the uniforms is to create a sense of equality for the students in the learning institutions. Not all students are privileged and come from wealthy families. By wearing uniforms, social status for more unfortunate students will no longer be an issue.
Disadvantages of having school uniforms:
They take away individuality and freedom of expression. Learning how to express yourself is a right that most parents want their children to learn from a young age. By not allowing kids to show their individuality through the way they dress, they may feel oppressed and discouraged to develop their own personality.
The issue of comparison, more so for the girls, is inevitable. Who wears it best is what they strive to achieve with the school uniforms and it may even create a more significant divide than when not wearing uniforms.
Resentment of the students towards the school and its administration happens because they feel like they have been forced to wear the uniform.
Keeping a child in school uniforms may be more expensive for parents and guardians than buying regular clothes would be. Often, uniforms are only available from a limited number of suppliers and the lack of competition keeps prices high.
Some uniforms may strike students and parents as sexist. For example, if a uniform requires girls to wear skirts and pants are not allowed, some students and parents may object, leading to conflict with the school administration.
Wearing uniforms take away the opportunity for children and young people to learn to make choices. To decide the most appropriate clothing to wear each day, and to learn about dressing appropriately.
The argument on whether a school uniform violates the students’ right of expression will remain a never-ending discussion. But the truth is, wearing of uniforms should all depend on the circumstances and the image a given school is trying to portray.
Wearing school uniforms is better than wearing what students want. It is not only convenient, but also very important to the schools and students. Besides, it is a beautiful culture of a school.