School uniforms foster a sense of belonging

Image: 123RF/Murali Nath

It is time that the debate about the desirability of school uniform is laid to rest because to argue against this is merely to be contrarian.

To advance their argument, the opponents of school uniform cite factors such as the limitation that it places on the pupil's self-expression.

This argument ignores the fact that a school uniform promotes organisational culture in a school as the pupils see themselves belonging to one institution.

The anti-uniform brigade also lists the legal and financial implications by arguing that it violates the rights of pupils and that the cost factor might also hinder access to schooling.

What needs to be clarified is that schools are institutions designed to provide learning environments.

Under normal circumstances a school would derive its identity from its name, vision, mission and uniform.

It is clear that the rationale and purpose of a school uniform is to foster group cohesion and ensure that pupils identify with and embrace the values that the school espouses.

With uniforms in place, children are likely to focus more on their education than on their wardrobes.

School bullies will also find it difficult, if not impossible, to tease or ridicule other children based on what they wear.

A school uniform should be retained because it serves to bolster the culture of teaching and learning.

Nathaniel Lee

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