School uniforms: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Not all children like the idea of wearing a school uniform. As with all things in life, there are pros and cons to uniforms for students.

 We reflect on the pros and cons of the compulsory school uniform…

Does your child’s school require uniforms? If you answered “yes”, check out our guide to the good, the bad, and the ugly of school uniforms.

The good: They can break down class barriers

The original thinking behind school uniforms was to unite pupils in uniformity and make it undeniably obvious to which schools they belonged.

School uniforms level the playing field. When students don’t wear school uniforms, it’s easy to tell which pupils have the most – and least – financial resources based on what they wear to school. One argument in favour of school uniforms is that when children wear uniforms, apparent class distinctions between rich and poor children are reduced or eliminated, perhaps resulting in greater social mixing along economic lines.

The bad: They can cost a small fortune

The initial outlay of school uniforms requires a second bond on your house. This investment, however, can reap great benefits if it happens to be your sweet darling child, obviously under the influence of bad elements, who was involved in locking some of the teachers in the staff room. Because all the kids look the same, your child will never be caught!

The ugly: Cut, colour, and style

As everyone could not be pleased in choosing of design, the ugliest, most unflattering styles were chosen.  In an attempt to be fair to all, a colour that suited no-one was decided upon.

If one is to observe the length of girls’ school skirts, one has to wonder whether the school board is aware that although this is the 21st century, influences of the ’60s continue to dominate the hemlines of girls’ skirts.

Overly optimistic uniform decision-makers, who knew the school song by heart in three different languages, did not consider the ramifications of pupils whose social skills were best suited to a chimpanzee enclosure, being out in public in their uniforms.

With school blazers being compulsory wear in some schools, pupils now have the added opportunity of in-house job training. These jackets are weighted down with everything that cannot fit into the jam-crammed school bags.  Maximum use of space is used as all outer pockets, inner pockets, and hidden pockets are packed to capacity. Credits should be given if scholars turned to deep-sea diving or become astronauts because they already have the weighted jacket training down to a fine art.

Bottom Line

If your child’s school enforces wearing a uniform, you might be familiar with some of the arguments for and against uniforms. By some accounts, school uniforms are becoming less popular in South Africa, which means more schools might be ditching the uniform in the not too distant future.