There are many parents who love the idea of school uniforms. But there are many who don’t want their kids to be compelled to wear school uniforms. Kids have their opinions as well. Some kids don’t mind wearing uniforms while some kids don’t like the idea. School uniforms have been subject of much debate and it has never been settled unequivocally. Public schools have always contemplated upon making uniforms compulsory whereas most private institutions have a regulation in place already.
Should school uniforms be made imperative? Should they be done away with completely? Should it be left to the kids to choose what they want? What should be done is the question, if there is that degree of flexibility or open-mindedness.
Here are some school uniforms pros and cons that should be considered before forming any opinion.
1. There is a school of thought that believes uniforms help kids to get better in their academics. Students who dress up in uniforms are more focused and that helps them to excel in academics. A study was conducted in 1998 by Notre Dame that inferred a very slight superiority in the performance of students who wore uniforms in comparison with those that didn’t. This study is limited but it does shed some light. There is logic behind uniforms helping a kid’s ability to learn faster or to get better in academics. When students focus too much on their dresses or what they are wearing, they can get distracted and that is never good for learning. There are many proponents of school uniforms who say that kids spend less time on picking wardrobes which allows them to sleep or get rest or to study more. Some say that uniforms also boost attendance.
2. School uniforms instill the best behaviors in students. It is believed by many that uniforms instill a sense of responsibility and a stricter environment. Students wearing uniforms would adhere to the rules and they would also be more disciplined. According to the US Department of Education, uniforms can reduce violence among students in school. Dresses have been causal to much teasing, bullying and violence among students.
3. School uniforms are regarded by millions of parents, teachers, psychologists and intellectuals as a social equalizer. It doesn’t matter who one is, what lineage one is from, what socioeconomic strata of the society a student hails from; in school, all students are equal. A student with rich parents doesn’t get to show off an expensive dress and students from relatively modest families don’t have to feel bogged down. There have been many reported cases and numerous studies have inferred that students do use their clothing to make a statement or to emphasize on something. Students get ridiculed due to their clothing, some students are judged by their clothing and there would always be the bullies that would want to take advantage of anything that they can get their hands or eyes on. In that sense, school uniforms have immense social relevance and significance.
4. School uniforms are affordable, in most cases. Apart from the social relevance, it is the cost that makes most parents and experts like the idea of school uniforms. Barring a few elite schools, most schools choose a uniform that is affordable. In many cases, such uniforms are very cheap. Parents find it much easier to buy a set of uniforms than trying to buy a large collection of clothes which would be expensive. A normal dress is often more expensive than a school uniform. Besides, school uniforms are not made like normal clothes. Uniforms are made to last, they are durable and mostly utilitarian, unlike normal clothes which are mostly fashionable and certainly not durable. Washing and caring for uniforms is also easier than doing the same with normal clothes.
1. A common criticism of school uniforms is that it doesn’t allow students to express their selves. A section of sociologists and educators argue that students should be allowed to express their choices or what they like instead of being compelled to wear specific dresses or uniforms. Some experts say that students who are compelled to wear uniforms might find other ways to express themselves, such as jewelry, makeup or something that is not pleasant.
2. School uniforms lead to lack of individuality. Uniforms don’t take into account the kids who would not like to be treated as equal or would not fit the common profile of kids that educators and institutions try to create. Some experts say that kids don’t get to test their approach to dressing and that is worrisome since as grownups they would be judged by appearance. In other words, uniforms don’t prepare kids for the real world and the subsequent challenges.
3. Uniforms may not always be comfortable for all students. Some students might not be comfortable with the material while some kids may have a physique or figure that would not look very good in uniforms and that can itself be cause for worry and disappointment for a student.