The Same Uniform Equation
By Kevin Anyonge
The Kenya Parents Associations recently proposed a similar school uniform for both the primary and secondary school students. Education Principal secretary Belio Kipsang said they were studying the proposal as a ministry.
If the same school uniform proposal is adopted, both primary and secondary school going children will wear same identical uniform from January 2019 if it will be implemented.
The uniform debate has brought a divide between parents and all stakeholders.According to Nicholus Maiyo of Kenya Parents Association we have a total of 12.5 Million children in primary school and 3 million in secondary school.
Speaking to a Child Development Specialist Jennifer Kaberi said “The proposal looks good,it looks good because of the argument that it is going to improve the textile industry and is going to ensure parents are not exploited by manufacturers or headteachers.”
The proposal as argued out is that,it is not meant to identify students only by their uniform,but also end cartels who have captured the school uniform industry with overpricing which becomes costly to parents.
Education Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohammed weighed into the matter by saying “Schools have sponsors, and that means that we should consult them before we make any decision.”
Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (KESSHA) Chairman Kahi Indimuli. said “School uniform colour has a meaning to the school and general community. We should have more engagement on this proposal,”
Uniforms have a unique identity,meaning and objective to different schools country wide and they hold unto them with their particular norms and values.
Child development specialist Jennifer shared the negative sides of having a similar uniform which are:
- It is very easy for perpetrators for child abuse to come through and pretend to be students.
- How possible will it be to hold schools accountable in terms of schools unrest and teachers misconduct.
- How will it be possible to know students and non-students.
Child participation is key as the similar uniform debate is on, the ministry,the parents association and other stakeholders should ensure children have a forum to contribute their views.
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