School chief holds off on lifting dress codeSorry kids, but keep those designer jeans tucked away. School uniforms remain mandatory in all Seoul schools.
Superintendent Kwak No-hyun had said in an interview with Yonhap in December that he would “take an active measure against oppressive restriction on hair and dress codes in schools.”
But Kwak now will wait until the policy is reviewed and will make a decision before September, a city official said yesterday.
At a recent meeting with principals of middle and high schools in Seoul, Kwak ordered the principals “to keep the current restrictions” on what students can wear, the official said.
Kwak did suggest, however, that schools have “a free dress day” during special events such as field trips or outdoor activities, when students would be able to wear what they want.
As for the hair code, the education chief said that he “will lift useless restrictions on students’ hair styles and on their stuff such as coats, shoes, socks or bags” because he said those restrictions violate students’ rights.
Kwak explained his change of mind during a speech on Jan. 12 at the Madle Education Research Institute, saying, “although liberalization of hair codes in schools will be implemented as planned, the matter of [liberalizing] school uniforms needs a more careful and thorough review.”
Observers say Kwak’s hesitation came after concern was raised that the liberalization of dress codes in schools could evoke a sense of incompatibility among students.
An official at the Seoul Education Office said the final decision on school uniforms will be made before September, when a student ordinance will be adopted.
“We are now devising an ordinance for the rights of students that will be effective from this September, and are collecting opinions from experts and people in various departments now,” the official said. “And if a majority of people say they want liberalization of dress codes in school, we will consider it.”
By Kim Hee-jin [email@example.com]
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대신 일선 학교에서 '교복 안 입는 날'을 자율적으로 지정해 운영하고 수련회나 소풍, 체험활동 등 야외활동을 할 때는 사복을 입도록 하는 방안을 제시했다. …