Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In a uniform world

Sharada Adhikari

Some people argue that making students wear uniform com pulsorily in the undergraduate level is a good thought because it allows everybody to feel equal. Meanwhile there are other people who oppose the idea arguing that uniforms do not play a significant role in the performances of students. Though most of the private colleges in Kathmandu have made uniform compulsory for students of undergraduate level, the situation is just the opposite in the case of government colleges. Only a few of the government colleges have made it mandatory for undergraduate level students to wear uniform. However, students have a mixed opinion regarding the provision of uniforms in the undergraduate level.

For uniform identity It is believed that dress reveals the personality of a person. “But all students are equal and this uniformity is reflected by the college uniform the students put on,“ opined Indra Prasad Subedi, principal of Trinity International College (TIC), Dillibazaar.

It is compulsory for all undergraduate students at TIC to wear the college uniform. Srijana Pariyar, BBS Ist Year student here said, “Because all of us always put on uniform, I never find any kind of discrimination among my friends. I think it might have prevailed if there was no dress code. Students would each day be trying to look their best in the best dress and that would create problems.“

Suchita Shrestha, BSc IInd year stu dent at Tri Chandra College, Ghantaghar sometimes faces problems as there is no particular uniform in her college. “As every student wears a different kind of dress, my friends always keep on comparing the quality and cost of dress with theirs which is really a problem.“
Helpful to maintain discipline “If there is uniform in a college, it helps to develop an understanding of self-discipline among the students,“ pointed out Kamal Dev Dhakal, Campus Chief of Shankar Dev Campus, Putalisadak. It is compulsory for the BBA students here to wear uniforms whereas there are no dress codes for BBS level students in this college. Clarifying the two different provisions for the same level of students, Dhakal informed, “There are a large number of students in BBS because of which we are unable to impose a uniform code which has been possible for the students of BBA.“
Informing that no efforts are made at Tri-Chandra College to set the dress code for students, Jujuman Tamrakar, Administrative Chief at the college stated, “Had there been rules for the students to put on a particular uniform in college, it would have been easier for us to identify the real students and maintain discipline in our college. We have a large number of students and they need to be identified from identity cards whenever they enter the college premises. And many times it becomes difficult to check the cards of all these students.

Due to this many persons who are not our students are involved in breaking college rules and regulations here pre tending to be our students.“Freedom Vs responsibility Ramesh Prasad Bhandari, BSc IInd year student at TC, is happy that he is free to wear the clothes of his choice. “It is not practical to force students of undergraduate level to put on college uniforms. Now we are mature enough to realise our responsibility and I think we should have the freedom to put on whatever is comfortable,“ argued Bhandari who thinks that “uniforms never make an impact upon the academic performance of any student“.
However, Sunu Thapa, a BBA IVth semester student at Shankar Dev Campus argued, “Wearing uniform at college level may make you feel like a school kid but if the students are given freedom to wear what they like, they will surely spend time on thinking about what to wear next to college.“
Thapa who always reaches her college properly dressed in her college uniform further expressed, “And mostly it gives opportunity for the students to show off and do every possible thing just to look better than others. This always hampers our studies if we start focusing on some thing else rather than things to study.“
Subedi also views dress codes as important medium to make the students realise their responsibilities. “Students should never feel that uniforms are made to restrict their freedom. Instead uniforms urge students to use their freedom being responsible.“

Working students and uniforms Despite strict rules in his college to wear uniform, Sabin Adhikari, a BA Ist student at Trinity International College does not wear college uniform while going to college.
“I have to go to my office directly from college and it is impossible for me to go home and change my dress. So, usually I do not go to college in my college uniform,“ stated Adhikari who thinks that “educational institutions should maintain the standard of education instead of focusing on dress codes.“
Bhandari echoing similar views said, “Most of the students of our level are working in one place or another and it will not be practical to force the students to wear uniform as the students need to maintain balance between workplace and college.“

source: The Himalayan Times, 20 April 2011