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Schools Uniforms: Do They Really Help Students?

Why school uniforms shouldn't act as the solution to all problems students face at school

Social IssuesMental health and wellbeing
By VoiceBox ·

Sahil

Sahil is an up-and-coming writer from India who is also a voracious reader and quite the music lover. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for the local cuisine, he loves to connect with people of similar interests. He aims to offer a fresh perspective through his work and inspires people to do the same. In his free time, Sahil likes catching up with his favorite TV shows and trying his hand at baking cakes and cookies. Stay tuned for more off the beaten track!

Schools Uniforms: Do They Really Help Students?

Education of young minds is one of the most, if not the most, crucial issues in every nation. The fact that school-going teenagers do not have their own voice in essential discussions pertaining to education is very concerning. Instead, adults are left to decide what’s best for students. While their intentions might not be harmful, the lack of student representation results in an inefficient system owing to the huge communication gap. 

For instance, one of the most debated issues in today’s schooling system is the introduction of school uniforms for students. In theory, enforcing uniforms has all kinds of benefits, but the poor execution of this system has led to a lot of resentment from students. In today’s day and age, a uniform is a tool for ensuring that no student is special. In contrast to this, a uniform should foster a sense of togetherness and unity and remove any disparity between students from underprivileged backgrounds. 

As a former student who completed his high school education in India, I didn’t experience the supposed benefits of uniforms; many of my friends were still bullied, and the rich students showed off their expensive stationery to their friends. Schools should focus more on teaching students to accept and embrace their differences instead of just trying to remove whatever difficulties pupils face. That’s how students will become more resilient as human beings.

What’s more, female students are subject to a lot more unnecessary regulation with their uniforms than male students. I have witnessed girls get remarks like “that skirt is a quarter of an inch short, change it immediately” or “cover yourself up,” which everyone knows is just code for “This uniform is distracting for guys. You are the problem, and therefore you need to change yourself.” Some foolish teachers would go as far as to directly tell students this and justify it by stating that they were just “protecting” their students.

The argument that girls tend to distract guys in classrooms is one of the most illogical things I have ever heard. To me, it’s an insult to male students to label them as hormone-fuelled simpletons who cannot focus in class because of girls. The simple fact is that teachers are passing on their backward thinking to their students, which I find completely unacceptable. Even as a guy, I find it unfair that the female students are asked to “maintain” themselves but never have I witnessed male students get lectured to get rid of their narrow thinking. 

Another thing I don’t like about Indian schools is how they encourage students to blindly follow the set of rules without question. Many schools in my country enforce their own set of biased rules to bolster their so-called “traditional values”. For example, my school had a standard pair of shirts and trousers for guys, whereas girls were required to wear a Kurta (Punjabi dress) in the name of tradition. But what no one was willing to admit is that the girl student’s uniforms were designed to be as conservative as humanely possible. 

I would like to say that I have nothing against uniforms in general; however, it is intolerable when founders of a school use uniforms to satisfy their own personal agenda, according to their liking. If you are really modern, enforce modern uniforms for both male and female students. If you genuinely value tradition, then have traditional uniforms for girls as well as guys. Don’t try to be a pseudo-supporter of one group to the point where it’s convenient for you. 

Uniforms might help in some scenarios, but they are definitely not the solution to all the problems students face at school.

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