Rebecca Kabaya Lifestyle Writer
A SHIRT, tie and blazer may not be the ingredients for one’s favourite outfit, and if given the choice, they would not throw away the idea of school uniform. Wearing a uniform is a badge of pride, creates an identity for a school and is an important part of being a pupil.
Uniforms show that you are part of an organisation. Wearing it says we are all in this together, shows respect; buying into what the organisation is all about.
Therefore, school uniforms create identities for school in their communities. A school uniform teaches pupils to dress smartly and take pride in their appearance.
While some say uniforms help pupils to prepare for when they leave school, and may have to dress smartly or wear a uniform. Lately, this has become a debatable issue within the Zimbabwean society because of the emergence of private colleges.
Unlike yesteryears when owning a school was something which was close to impossible, these days anyone, who thinks has what it takes to open one, can do so without any obstacles.
The college owner enjoys the freedom of choosing the type of uniform, from the design, colour to shoes learners will be wearing.
This means anything worn by pupils will be sanctioned by the founder.
Some schools – both private and formal- are now known for their scant dress codes as part of their uniforms.
Although uniforms have moved from pom-poms and starched aprons to polos and jumpers, the reasons some private schools have made them fashionable in a way that is controversial to most people today.
This has led to the reason why uniforms are either supported or criticised these days, with some in favour of, and others expressing disfavour in these trending uniforms.
Since people agree on the fact that a school uniform is meant to help a child to learn how to dress in future, be it in employment or anywhere else, in most companies employees are expected to dress properly, for example, ladies must wear skirts or dresses long enough to cover their knees.
This is in contradiction with the type of uniforms, especially those that girls wear at these private schools.
They make one’s jaw drop, leaving the mouth wide open in disbelief.
One can also wonder or be confused if the child is going to school or to a local shebeen, because of their short uniforms.
Most pupils from these colleges are known for wearing uniforms, whose hemlines are well above the knees, generally at mid-thigh level, leaving a few centimetres below the bottoms, and this is the definition of a mini-skirt or dress.
Usually girls wear these mini-uniforms with heels that even lengthen their legs making them more exposed.
It even becomes more difficult for one to bend down without revealing too much of their behind when wearing high heels with a mini-skirt or dress.
This kind of dressing for pupils has rapidly become fashionable among these private colleges, and this has raised their bars high.
Most children want to be at schools where they wear heels and short uniforms, particularly teenagers, who love exploring and being fashionable.
These mini uniforms are not meant for the “bend and snap” meaning the wearers do not have freedom of movement at school.
Mini uniforms are restrictive because one has to mind how they walk, seat and bend down to pick items from the ground, which may be straining.
People believe that a school uniform can improve learning by reducing distraction, sharpening focus on school-work, and making the classroom a more serious environment, allowing learners to perform better academically.
In this case the truth is the very opposite.
Private school uniforms are somehow bringing moral decadence among the young ones, the innocence in the pupils is removed through such kind of dressing.
This makes them to gradually become victims of sexual abuse because of the revealing uniforms.
There should be a difference between a pupil and those girls of the night to avoid any misconception from society.
Philosophers say how one dresses says a lot about one’s character or conduct.
Having these innocent college pupils wearing such uniforms will create a delusion as to who they really are.
However, not all private schools allow pupils to wear uniforms which drop above the knees.
Some of the learners have become so unruly that they cut or alter their uniforms into mini-dresses or skirts, which is a sign of mischiefs.
This type of pupils are everywhere, in Government schools or private colleges.
They defy the school rules, especially those at Advanced Level.
Perhaps most importantly, a uniform means pupils don’t have to worry about peer pressure when it comes to their clothes; that’s an absolute advantage.
In conclusion, a uniform should be something that can create an environment where discipline is emphasised.
Adhering to a school uniform code requires a certain level of discipline from learners. It also requires parental discipline to ensure that children meet expectations.