~ Jiah Bhutani
From the roman empire till the modern-day uniforms depict solidarity. It is found by the researchers that the Christ’s Hospital School in England was the first school to establish the culture of school uniforms. The compulsion of dress codes in educational institutes is a widely controversial argument among students and the school staff. School uniforms have their own perks and cons.
PROS OF SCHOOL UNIFORM
· MAKES SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT SAFER
Uniforms allow the school staff to identify students so that they can be easily differentiated from the people not belonging to the campus.
· DIMINISHES INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES
When all the students of the same school are dressed alike, economic, cultural and social barriers are reduced.
· PREVENTS BULLYING & PEER PRESSURE
· There will be no peer pressure to wear certain clothes or follow trends to fit in and there will be no bullying of the students who can not afford expensive designer clothes.
· INCREASED SENSE OF BELONGINGNESS
Common dress among students can enhance the patriotism of students towards their schools, it creates positive regard towards their own institution.
CONS OF SCHOOL UNIFORM
· AFFECTS INDIVIDUAL EXPRESSION
Schools should be teaching students ways to express themselves and one of the ways of self-expression is choosing their own wardrobe. Wearing the same attire might affect some students of different religions and beliefs.
· FINANCIAL PROBLEMS
It might be difficult for students coming from weaker sections of the society to purchase uniforms as schools ask students to buy uniforms from school stores, thereby they cannot save money by shopping from discount or thrift stores.
· IMPRACTICAL DESIGNS
School uniforms often include wearing skirts, slacks, white button-up shirts which do look good but they are impractical especially for elementary school students as they have to participate in various activities which might make their clothes dirty, which will only add additional burden on parents
· DRESS CODE CONFLICTS
· Setting up dress leads to a violation in school, students will find one way or the other to modify their clothing. It will create problems between student-teacher relations.
MYTHS AND TABOOS
1. School uniforms decrease crime rates.
§ There is no concrete justification indicating a direct correlation of crime rates with school uniform policies. More solid and concrete actions should be taken by the school management to address the issue of the safety of students.
2. Dress code helps students to focus more on academics.
§ It is actually found to be true that countries that follow dress code tradition have the highest performing students.
3. School uniforms solve disciplinary issues.
§ Rather than the fact that the students are wearing them, they will always find a way to get involved in malicious activities.
4. Setting up a dress code helps school staff to bring more focus to their studies.
§ It’s actually a false belief that setting up a uniform system in school helps teachers to focus more on the student’s overall development including academics, but a lot of time and energy is wasted to enforce dress code laws among students.