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Civvies Are Not So Civilised After All…

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The very popular saying ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ doesn’t only apply to the fit mommies that love to go shopping in their active wear at Woolies who clearly raid their teenage daughters’ cupboards on a daily basis. This saying is also very fitting to the little darlings when they have a civvies’ day at school.

Parents might not really see the difference, but if you are a teacher and you have been personally victimised a little devil disguised in the latest Ecko gear, please raise your hand now. I already see them going up, up, up…

Somehow, children have a preconceived idea that they can forget their manners at home when they are allowed to wear civvies at school. They will however completely disagree and come with a very detailed explanation how a school uniform takes away individuality and will not change the study habits of learners. They will of course fight for the right to freedom of expression and blah blah fish paste!

The fact of the matter remains that freedom of expression is not an excuse to misbehave. Mandatory uniform policies can definitely lead to improved student outcomes, without suppressing individual personalities. Fine feathers do not make fine birds! Uniformed schools have a direct effect on the students’ sense of belonging and school identity. This creates a positive social environment as every student is “on the same team” There is a feeling of unity when wearing a uniform that your colleagues’ are also wearing. It also breeds collegial spirit and support for one another. An easy example of this is how athletic clubs bond as a team while wearing the sport’s uniform. It is a display that there is a collective consciousness and that team members work collectively towards a common goal or purpose.

School expectations are easier to enforce when students are in uniform as it is a physical display of readiness for learning by being properly dressed. To look like the next Kardashian isn’t on the list of priorities and all attention can be focused on getting good grades and giving preference to academic activities rather than the consumer-driven world.

School uniforms are economical as they eliminate the need for parents to buy their children clothes for school that keep up with the ever-changing trends. Not only are school uniforms classic and can be worn for as long as they last, they also give parents a way out of not having to buy their children certain apparel to show that they “fit in”. School uniforms create equality as they remove competition between students of higher and lower socioeconomic groups.

Children in uniform are much more disciplined than those running around in whatever they want, that is an absolute fact! Everyone is equal in a school uniform and having the rule of wearing a uniform can even decrease the pressing and worrying subject of bullying. No normal child will start teasing their peers because of the shade of white or grey of their school shirts. The youth of today are already extremely complicated and delicate flowers, don’t make your own lives as teachers and principals more difficult than they already are.

Say yes to civvies, BUT only once or twice a year! Your sanity is worth it!



Civvies Are Not So Civilised After All…


Inge Liebenberg




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