Takkies, T-shirts okay for school

Pumza Fihlani

Pumza Fihlani

No student may be denied entry to school simply because he or she is not wearing a school uniform.

According to the Education Department's national guidelines , takkies can now be recognised as part of a school uniform.

Gauteng Education spokesman Panyaza Lesufi said that jeans and T-shirts are also acceptable if it means more children will get to see the inside of a classroom.

Lesufi said that a child's right to education should not be compromised unnecessarily.

"Education goes far beyond a school uniform. What matters is that a child looks presentable at school," Lesufi said.

So what has happened to the school of thought that states a uniform promotes unity and equality among pupils?

And what about the notion that by compromising the equality brought about by uniforms, children from poor families will be disadvantaged?

To these questions Lesufi replied that some schools made their uniforms "unnecessarily expensive", thus automatically placing students from poor backgrounds at a disadvantage.

"Parents cannot take their children to certain schools because the uniforms are just too expensive, and we want to put and end to that."

The official guidelines also allow children changing schools to wear the uniforms from their previous schools.

"Parents might need a period of grace before they can afford to buy the appropriate school uniform," Lesufi said.

He urged parents to come forward if their children were denied admission to a school because of not having a school uniform.