School uniforms are a casual dress code for students to wear during their school time and official school activities outside of school.
There are cons and pros for the necessity of the school uniform.
The arguments for the school uniform:
- School uniforms, as well as any other uniform, discipline, lead to cohesion, promote the development of students in the sense of community, teamwork, common affairs and goals.
- School uniform eliminates (or at least, limits) the possibility of competition between students (and their parents) in clothing, greatly reduces the visual difference between students from families of different classes, preventing delamination into “rich / poor.”
- A single standard for the school uniform, if it is adapted at the state level, helps to ensure that the clothing students will meet hygiene requirements and will not harm their health.
- Manufacturing of the school uniform can be subsidized by the state keeping the price low to help the poor families to reduce the costs of the child education.
The arguments against school uniform:
- School uniform is an element of equalizing education and training.
- The Convention on the Rights of the Child states that every child has the right to express their individuality as much as he likes it. School uniforms limit freedom of expression and are a means of de-individualization of students at the school.
- The requirement to wear the school uniform is in itself a form of violence against the person, the requirement of compliance with the strict standard, can be arbitrarily interpreted and used by school staff for the unjustified persecution of unwanted students.
- The school uniform may be too expensive for poor families.
The United Kingdom is the largest country in Europe, in which student are required to wear school uniform. In many of its former colonies, such as India, Ireland, Australia, Singapore and South Africa, Cyprus and Hong Kong, the school uniform has not been canceled after their independence.
In France, the school uniform policy existed in the years 1927-1968. In Poland – until 1988.
In Belgium, the school uniform is required only in some Catholic schools, as well as in the private schools established by British. Typical clothes are pants and skirts in dark blue with white or blue shirt and tie.
In Germany, there is no school uniform, although there is a debate about its introduction. Some schools have adopted school clothes, which cannot be considered a form as students can participate in its design. Tellingly, even in the days of the Third Reich’s students did not have a single uniform – they come to school in casual clothes, in the uniform of the Hitler Youth (or other children’s organizations).
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