Published: 04th October 2020
Should school uniforms in state-run government schools change with every party in power?
This is the mysterious case of the changing uniform. By quoting an instance, Monteiro wonders if changing uniforms is worth the financial burden it puts on parents from low-income backgrounds
The uniform makes for brotherhood, since when universally adopted it covers up all differences of class and country
- Robert Baden-Powell (1857-1941), British Army Officer, writer, founder and first Chief Scout of the Worldwide Scout Movement
Baden-Powell’s idea of uniforms for scout cadets, boys and girls, might have been rooted in his military career and survives to this day. The idea of school uniforms might have been derived from the philosophy noted in the above quotation. Now a good idea seems to be vitiated by politicising school uniforms. But first, the facts as reported in the media:
According to one report, the uniform for students of government-run schools in Rajasthan will change again, three years after the former BJP government introduced one that was identical to the RSS uniform.
The state education minister said the decision to change the school uniform was taken on the recommendation of a six-member committee which considered complaints of parents and school teachers about the uniform introduced during the BJP government in 2017. The committee was yet to recommend a colour but the new uniform will become applicable from the next academic session (2021-22), officials said.
Since 1997, the uniforms in the state’s government schools had been blue shirt and khaki shorts or trousers for boys and
blue kurta and white salwar or skirt for girls. In 2017, this was changed to light brown shirts and brown trousers or shorts for boys, and light brown kurta or shirts with brown salwar or skirts for girls.
The Congress government decided to change the RSS-like uniform for a political reason, said an officer of the department.
The change in uniform will affect about eight million students in 64,000 government schools. It will involve a financial burden on parents to procure new uniforms – though the changeover is scheduled for the next academic year. But the basic question is: should the school uniforms change based on the party in power? Especially considering the fact that the party in power can change even within a year.