Do you remember your school days and the uniform you so dearly put on every day? The sense of belonging and high spirits that the uniform offered was something that shaped our school days!
However, in the last decade, a debate over school uniforms is constantly going on. While some people argue that school uniforms can help make schools more non-discriminatory safe spaces, some might argue that they limit the self-expression of children.
Let’s look at some pros and cons of school uniforms.
Pros of school uniforms
- Education ideally seeks to eliminate the barriers to social strata and give everyone a fair chance. The schools try to achieve this and ensure that the students participate in social affairs despite their respective backgrounds. School uniforms are an amazing way to eliminate class indicators, like fancy clothes and accessories. It is the stepping stone to eliminating discrimination from the school environment.
- Human beings grow better when they find themselves in an environment where they are supported and accepted. Thus, the feeling of belonging to a community can enhance the development of students. Wearing school uniforms can be a great way to achieve this and help students feel as if they belong to the space. The unsaid unity at schools might even decrease rates of bullying.
- Fancy clothes can be uncomfortable to sit in. The responsibility of keeping such clothes clean may also take a lot of mental energy. But a comfortable, plain uniform can eliminate these concerns. Such an outfit can also give the students a scope to be more carefree and experience learning with more focus.
Cons of school uniforms
- Emotional growth is a massive part of education. Teenagers for that matter, go through periods of intense emotional changes and thus feel the need to self-express freely. Some students might do it through clothes, hair, and piercings and reflect their taste in music and art. Strict school uniform policies can however suppress this need for self-expression and hamper the healthy transition to adulthood.
- Every individual has their own comfort zones for clothes. Not every person might feel comfortable in a skirt or trunk shorts. School uniform policies usually don’t accommodate such choices. Rigid uniform rules also harm children who are unsure of their place on the gender spectrum and the only thing they are in control of in this phase is the way they can dress.
Making clothing policies at schools rigid can do more harm than good. As the policies turn into rules, schools might start punishing students for uniform code violations and police children to a point of degraded self-esteem.
Thus, to truly use these policies for the advantage of the children, it is important to give them some choice and scope of creativity while choosing their uniforms, e.g. providing gender-neutral options for uniforms or having color codes rather than fixed designs. With the right measures, school uniforms can create a safe, supportive environment with no judgment and discrimination.
At Great Principals, we hope to bring about a necessary change in the ways of Indian Education. Each new generation is far more capable than the last, and we owe it to evolution. But as humans evolve, we are required to transcend from our old ways and look at things from a different perspective, one that shapes the untapped minds of the children for the ever-growing world.
We are here to capture the journeys of marvelous School Leaders and Principals through an interactive talk show. We hope to inspire the parents who are the true changemakers in a child’s growing life. Our goal is to bring about a much-needed change in the way we educate our kids. Feel free to check out our episodes on YouTube www.youtube.com/c/GreatPrincipals