Should the students be given the freedom to wear whatever they deem is right, or should there be a standard dress code? This hot debate has been going on for years. While some schools have decided to make uniforms compulsory, some have given the students the liberty to dress as per their liking. The following sections present the pros and cons for wearing uniforms to school.
Reduces Conflicts and Insecurities
First of all, having a standard dress code for students reduces social conflicts in schools. Students who are unable to follow the latest fashion trends might be bullied or looked down upon by the ones who follow the latest trends. Such a situation can impact their psyche in the long run. They might feel insecure. Such conflicts can be avoided if the students dress up in uniforms.
Curbs Violence and Instills Loyalty
Research studies have shown that students end up forming groups/gangs, and the members of such groups might wear similar type of clothes. Such groups often target students who may belong to certain socioeconomic groups. All this will reduce considerably, if students wear school uniforms and identify themselves as "one". It is believed that wearing uniforms creates a sense of community, and a feeling of loyalty amongst the students for their school.
Lessens Financial Expenditure
A standard dress code is also advantageous for the parents. Parents have to spend only on the school uniform, which does not cost much. If there's no dress code, most students would insist on wearing fashionable clothes, for which the parents would have to shell out a lot of money.
From the education point of view, sociologists argue that when students are allowed to wear clothes of their own choice, they are likely to spend more time on clothes than studies. This can have a negative impact on their education and their grades can fall. So, making uniforms compulsory can help in creating a better learning environment.
Prepares for Professional Life
Lastly, wearing school uniforms prepares the students for a formal, corporate life. Chances are that when working in organizations as adults, students will be expected to work in formal clothes. It will be easier for them to make this transition, if they are already used to wearing formal uniforms in schools.
So, wearing school uniforms has many benefits. However, there are two sides to a coin, and there are some disadvantages of making the school uniforms compulsory.
Makes Students Rebel
There is no research backing the arguments that making school uniforms compulsory creates a better learning environment. Moreover, the more students are 'made' to dress up in a certain way, the more rebellious they can turn out to be. By giving them freedom to dress up, schools are actually giving them responsibility to choose appropriate dresses.
On a concluding note, if there's no standard uniform for students, then students should be given guidelines for dressing appropriately. They should be made to understand that schools are places of learning, and not a ramp to show off their latest outfits. The message of 'freedom with responsibility' should be preached, and stress should be placed on a school being a center of learning.