Principals of primary schools, parents and students are deeply divided over the introduction of school uniforms in Zagreb. However, according to reports which have so far been submitted, it seems that majority of parents are against uniforms for their children, and the reason most often cited is that uniforms would not solve the problem of social differences among students. Also, parents do not want their children to look exactly the same as other children, reports Jutarnji List on February 16, 2017.
Today is the deadline by which school principals must send the results of surveys of parents and students to the City Office of Education, Culture and Sports, which two weeks ago sent a questionnaire to 108 schools to indicate whether school uniforms should be introduced or not.
According to incomplete data which arrived by yesterday at noon, many schools are divided over the introduction of uniforms. There are many cases of one class supporting the uniforms, while the neighbouring class is against.
Ksaver Šandor Gjalski Primary School used modern technology so parents could state their position through social networks. In one class, half of parents were for uniforms, while the other half was against. However, in the whole school, 161 students are against uniforms, and just 55 are in favour. The parents have split in a similar way. Parents commented that the uniforms were positive for communication and public image of the school, but not for reducing social differences between students, since there are other status symbols that would still be visible among students, such as mobile phones and sneakers.
Matko Laginja Primary School also decided to vote against the uniforms. “We have left the decision to students and parents, and we will act in accordance with their opinion”, said principal Božidar Bilafer. The similar decision was made by the Jure Kaštelan Primary School, thanks to students and teachers. “Parents were for it, but children said that the uniforms would not remove clearly visible social differences between them. In other words, they can wear the same shirts, but someone will still have a better cell phone, bag, pencil case... Their opinion was supported by the Teachers' Council, so at the end the decision is clear”, said principal Krešimir Supano.
One of ideas mentioned in the city hall is the introduction of a pilot project in three Zagreb schools. Also, there is an option that uniforms would not be worn every day in class, but just occasionally, at school ceremonies, events and field trips.
If the uniforms are eventually introduced, they would be paid for from the city budget.