The basic concept of introducing uniforms in educational institutions appears to have been relegated to back benches. Although exact year in which it was introduced is not known, the history can be traced back to the year 1222, when Archishop of Canterbury introduced rob-like outfit called ‘Clappa clausa’.
In India the uniforms were introduced to instil the feeling of uniformity and solidarity from caste, creed, culture and religion.
The advantages of introducing uniforms in education institutions can be listed as — 1. They create uniformity.
2. They give a sense of belonging and pride.
3. They promote school spirit.
4. They allow parents to save on time and money spent on shopping for school clothes.
5. They help students spend less time and energy on choosing what to wear daily.
6. They take away social segregation.
7. They provide a safer school environment.
8. They encourage students to express themselves in other ways.
9. They take away the need to create so many policies related to dress codes.
10. They prevent bullying.
The uniforms in schools earlier were restricted to blue, khaki, green or brown half pant and white shirt for boys and skirt and shirt for girl students. Later for certain reasons full pants and Salwar Kurta were allowed.
For more than four decades after independence this uniformity was maintained to the extent that a student from rich family was not allowed to use tericot clothe for his uniform. Only Cotton or Khadi clothes for uniforms were allowed. The reason behind it was to avoid any kind of discrimination between the rich and the poor.
The schools during the last two or three decades have started changing their uniforms. They were made fancy in design, more than one uniforms were prescribed. Later the schools compelled the parents to buy uniforms from particular shops.
With the change in social values, emphasis is being laid on freedom than uniformity, freedom to be different than solidarity, rights against duties. These changes overpowered the basic spirit of introducing uniform in educational institutions. Thus the main objective of developing a responsible citizen of the nation is gradually vanishing from educational institutions.
Fanaticism has also entered the religious schools. Moreover, using filthy language about other religion has become a fashion, instead of respecting them. The purpose of education, thus has been defeated.