Most of us have grown up wearing school uniforms. And when we went to college, we had no uniforms and couldn’t think of a uniform system again. But, have you ever looked back and wondered what was the purpose of the uniform? Why do schools have uniforms?
Wearing a uniform is a badge of pride, it creates an identity for a school and is an important aspect of being a student at school. “Uniforms convey that you are part of an organisation. Wearing it shows we’re all in this together,” says Maulik, business development head at Atlas Infiniti – a uniforms company. “Also, if you wear your uniform with pride, you represent what the organisation is all about. Uniforms give students a sense of belonging to a particular school and create an identity for the school among others.
Many people agree that a school uniform can improve learning by reducing distraction, sharpening focus on schoolwork and making the classroom a more serious environment, allowing students to focus more academically. Perhaps most importantly, a uniform means students don’t have to worry about peer pressure when it comes to their clothes. When everyone is dressed the same, worrying about what you look like isn’t so important. There is no competition about being dressed in the latest trend, which would put a great deal of financial pressure on students and parents. Potential bullies have one less target for their insults; it’s hard to make fun of what someone is wearing when you’re dressed exactly the same.
In America, where a majority of schools do not have a uniform, roughly 150,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. This might not be directly linked to what they’re wearing, but having a uniform can be a safety net for many students who might otherwise suffer from bullying. A strict uniform gives the impression that rules are strict too, perhaps helping maintain a sense of order at school.
Finding a uniform that fits you, especially if you’re limited to one shop, can also be a struggle. “Many schools have a specific supplier like us and we arrange to provide schools with the best quality long lasting school uniforms at reasonable prices”, says Maulik.
Farhad Sodawala, a ten year old Mumbai school student, says: “I like uniforms because everyone is the same and no one can be left out by the way they are dressed. Our new sports uniform looks smarter, which is good.”
One of the reasons why do schools have uniforms is School uniforms give a sense of belonging. They can be fashionable in their own way and they are definitely here to stay.