Zagreb to Introduce Uniforms for Primary School Students?

Total Croatia News

Students of primary schools in Zagreb could soon be forced to wear uniforms.

Head of the Education Department of the City of Zagreb Ivica Lovrić send a letter to all primary schools on Wednesday. The topic of the letter are school uniforms for students from first to eighth grade, which would be financed by the city authorities if all stakeholders – parents, students and teachers – agree with the proposal. Their reply is expected within two weeks, reports N1 on February 4, 2017.

The letter explains that the main motive for introducing uniforms, in addition to alleged positive experiences from abroad and from history, is to reduce the effects of social differences among students.

“We are aware of the fact that in almost every classroom we can find a girl or a boy who are for some reason rejected, excluded from the group. Therefore, we have launched an initiative to introduce school dress code and school uniforms in elementary schools in Zagreb. We would enable schools to be institutions in which children will feel accepted, regardless of their social status. Although the original purpose of school uniforms was to protect children’s clothes from getting dirty with ink and chalk, with time it has been recognized that they have a positive impact on the behaviour of children. Improving discipline in the classroom and creating better climate in schools enable higher academic achievements, reduction in violence, increase respect for teachers and school staff, raise self-esteem and self-confidence, and develop a sense of belonging to the class and school. These are just some of the benefits of school uniforms”, claims Lovrić in his letter.

“We want to help parents in their efforts to, instead of buying expensive clothing and shoes or other items which highlight visible social differences among children, protect their children from all forms of abuse, violence, discrimination, or neglect by their peers”, says the letter.

Lovrić asks school principals to meet with parents and discuss the issue, and send their feedback no later than 15 February. “Funds necessary for purchase of school uniforms would be appropriated in the city budget. Each school would be able to independently design its uniform, and those who cannot do it themselves will be provided with experts to help in design. School uniforms should be simple, comfortable to wear, adapted to the season and they should include signage identifying the school”, wrote Lovrić.

Although school uniforms do exist in several primary schools in Croatia, the public opinion is divided. According to the polls, just over half of respondent agree that they should be introduced. On the other hand, 42 percent of respondents say they are against the proposal, mostly due to the “need to preserve freedom of personal expression of the students”.


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