School uniforms – yet another Januworry

According to the Citizen parents may end up spending up to R3,000 per child on uniforms and stationary as schools open for 2019.

According to the report the Gauteng education department’s 2019 stationery list costs about R800 all on its own.

Uniforms meanwhile cost between R1,200 and R2,000, with parents of boys having it slightly easier because their uniforms include less items.

Throw in lunch boxes and transport and things get expensive fast.

My Take

I’ve never seen the point to school uniforms. Mostly dress codes and such seem to be more of a headache than they’re worth.

To me rules should exist to make things easier, if all a rule does is cause fights then maybe one should do away with that rule.

In October we had IOL reporting a story about a kid who wanted to grow his beard in line with his religion – would that have been a problem without his school’s dress code?

I struggle to see how a beard would particularly impact anybody’s education.

Before that we had Jeppe – and its whole furor over whether a girl could wear a Hijab, which you can read about on The South African.

How would the head scarf have impacted the girl’s education, or the education of anybody else?

For a non Muslim example, Sisipho Mantla being send home for refusing to cut his hair – is the rule worth more than the child’s education?

In 2017 East Coast Radio reported that HP Ngwenya Primary School in Chesterville had mandated that pupils were only allowed to wear a specific branded shirt, which cost R15 more than the cheaper alternatives that some of the parents had found.

They had to assure people that they wouldn’t kick those kids out for wearing that cheaper shirt, would this have been an issue if they didn’t have uniforms in the first place?

And we look at the current story – this is an expensive rule, and it is a sexist one. It costs more if you are a parent of girls, so what does that do for poor girls’ access to education?

Now the arguments for uniforms have generally revolved around how the rich kids would lord it over the poor kids.

I went to school, we had uniforms, and the rich kids already did that, just in other ways.

What difference does the clothing make, except to serve as an additional barrier to the poor?


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