Most schools around the world have prescribed school uniforms for students, especially at the pre-tertiary levels of education. And while arguments have been made supporting and against the practice of mandating school uniforms, its most pre-tertiary educational institutions retain this student dress code policy.
In an attempt to integrate the advantages of the no uniform policies implemented by other institutions, some have resorted to casual Friday policies for both teachers and students.
Unfortunately, not all institutions employ this casual Friday policy for their students although teachers are usually given this option.
This article will provide insight into why casual Fridays for students should be adopted by pre-tertiary institutions with a mandated school uniform policy.
Let’s start with taking a look at why students should or should not be allowed to wear regular clothes to school
Why Students Should Be Allowed To Wear Civilian Clothes
While various educational institutions are adopting this form of dress code, most still mandate their students to wear prescribed uniforms. Let’s take a look at the reasons why students should be allowed to wear regular clothing in school.
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Comfort And Confidence
Like most people, our clothes can provide a level of comfort in our day-to-day activities. School uniforms may not necessarily provide the student the level of comfort they’d like or are used to.
Schools have the responsibility to nurture young, confident, productive members of the community. Unfortunately, being forced to wear something you don’t feel comfortable inside, can negatively impact a student’s confidence.
Wearing something you consider to look good on you, fashionable and cute can make you feel good about yourself.
When it comes to self-identity and confidence, as well as how other people view us, the clothing we wear and the way we dress play a crucial role. In one way, it is a liberating form of self-expression.
Allowing students the freedom to choose their own clothing for school empowers them to express themselves even in their appearance.
Variety Of Clothing
Students get a broad range of clothing to choose from as opposed to only wearing the same uniform to school daily.
Parents don’t need to spend additional money acquiring school uniforms for their children as they can simply wear their available clothing to school. Students whose parents are unable to afford more than one uniform are left in an unfavorable situation.
These students need to walk on eggshells in school to avoid soiling their clothing. These clothes become difficult to wash daily or on weekdays out of fear of them not drying.
Discount Or Sale
While regular uniforms can be bought on sale, most school uniforms cannot be purchased at a discount. These can be expensive leading to some parents sometimes only managing to afford a limited number of uniforms for their children.
After years of purchasing clothes for their children, most parents already know where to purchase affordable clothing for their children. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for uniforms as parents would be unable to find these at discounted prices.
Wearing the same uniform to school can be boring especially since everyone in school would be wearing the same uniforms. Allowing students to wear their own clothes fosters their individuality.
Uniforms Meant For School
Uniforms are only meant for schools making it impossible for students to wear them to any events in their normal lives. Unlike civilian clothing that can be worn anywhere and for any occasion, school uniforms are only limited to schools and school-related events.
Why Students Shouldn’t Be Allowed To Wear Civilian Clothes
Most pre-tertiary institutions worldwide mandate their students to wear prescribed school uniforms. And while some are against students wearing uniforms, we’ll take a look at some of the reasons why these institutions mandate their students to wear uniforms.
Time Wasted On Finding Clothing
A student’s priority should be on their education as opposed to spending time picking out the best dress for school each day. School uniforms eliminate this challenge enabling students to focus on learning.
Students can tell the socioeconomic status of another student based on the clothing they wear. This can lead to bullying and discrimination in school and sometimes outside school.
Wearing school uniforms would eliminate this problem, fostering equality in the classroom. This enables each student to focus on their academics as opposed to fending off bullies and the negative impressions of their peers.
While most students would dress appropriately, given the opportunity to choose what they wear to school, it’s understandable that some would also capitalize on this to wear outrageous and indecent clothing to school.
To avoid such scenarios, most educational mandate their students to put on the school’s uniform.
Most staff members in schools do not wear uniforms which can make it difficult to distinguish between staff and students in casual clothing. Wearing uniforms enable institutions and staff members to tell the difference between other staff members and students.
It also enables visitors to distinguish between teachers and students on the school grounds. Students trying to sneak out would also be easily identified in the process, or outside the school.
School uniforms enable children to develop a feeling of discipline, making them less inclined to act out or breach other regulations.
Students would be seen as equals as they’d all be wearing the same clothing. This sends a clear message that all students are seen and treated the same by the education system irrespective of their socioeconomic status.
Why Should Students Be Allowed To Wear Civilian Clothes On Fridays
Now that we have a clearer understanding of some institutions mandate school uniforms while others do not, let’s take a look at students should be allowed to wear normal clothes on Friday.
Most educational institutions have policies enabling students to wear casual clothing on Fridays. This option is now widely accepted by many institutions as well as workplaces.
Casual Fridays is well-known even outside the education industry. Even for teachers who aren’t mandated to wear uniforms, casual Friday provide them the flexibility of full casual clothing to school.
Students in most institutions also benefit from casual Fridays for various reasons including:
Sports And School Events
Sports and other school-specific activities are usually scheduled on Fridays. School uniforms are considered inappropriate for these events that require increased mobility. As a result, these educational institutions institute a casual Friday policy for their students.
To control the type of clothing students can wear these days, some schools provide casual outfits for these events. Others simply provide the shirts while students are allowed to choose their pants or trousers to go with these shirts.
While this doesn’t provide the full advantages of daily civilian clothing, it’s seen as a compromise that fosters student self-expression while retaining some level of control over what students wear on such days.
Individuality And Self-Expression
Students would be able to express themselves through their clothing even if it happens to be one day a week. This serves as a good compromise as can still mandate uniforms but leave room for students to gain other benefits.
It also serves as a morale booster for these students enabling them to gain the self-confidence that comes with self-expression.
Balance Discipline And Self-Expression
While pros and cons can be listed for both wearing and not wearing uniforms, a casual Friday policy for students strikes a balance between these arguments.
Students would be able to benefit from both arguments while maintaining the discipline that comes with a uniform mandate.
Training For Corporate World
Most companies now institute some form of casual Friday policy for their employees. Allowing students to wear casual clothing on Fridays can serve as a form of training for the corporate world.