Government to introduce same uniform in all schools.

Some pupils of Garissa Road Primary School Thika.

The government has revealed an ambitious new plan to have all primary and secondary school students might soon wear the same uniform following a proposal by the Kenya Parents Association (KPA).

Confirming the plans, Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said that his Ministry was in discussion with stakeholders to change the uniform policy and have schools adopt same colour and fabric.

According to the PS, the parents’ suggestion came after they complained of on the high cost of buying uniform from different shops.

Speaking at the Moi University-owned Rivatex firm in Eldoret, Kipsang challenged local textile industries to prepare to manufacture the new uniforms once the new policy is adopted.

The PS lauded the university for its foresight in identifying the revival of the textile company that had collapsed.

“Initially we thought it would just be a training facility for Moi University but later on it became a production company and now it’s turning out to be a major economic project for the country,” said Kipsang.

He was optimistic that the policy would ensure safety of children, adding that a common attire would protect the learners from predators.

“We want to protect our children from predators so that when we see them in town being lured to places that are not good, we can be able to know that they are our students and act decisively,” he said.

He said the ministry was working closely with parents, head teachers and all education stakeholders on the policy.

He said the government would continue to invest more in education institutions so that they play a critical role in providing require manpower for the country and also play a role in economic growth.

“We want the education institutions to play a role in helping us to implement the Big Four Agenda as outlined President Uhuru,” said the PS.

The parents’ association has suggested a grey uniform for primary schools and a blue one for secondary schools.

According to the association, the one-uniform policy would dismantle cartels that worked closely with some head teachers to fleece parents through single-sourced uniforms.

Similarly, the new proposal specifies how the students should wear their uniforms. 

“As per the recommendations, all girls’ uniforms will reach below the knee,” said the association’s chairman Nicholas Maiyo after a one-week workshop hosted by the parents’ association in Machakos County last week.

The association is upbeat that the proposal will sail through and that students will start wearing a common uniform by January 2019.

The proposal has received mixed reactions from parents and teachers.

Julius Korir, the national vice-chairman of the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) dismissed the proposal as unpopular and colonial.

“I urge Dr Belio not to rush to unpopular policies. I propose the banning of school uniforms because they are colonial,” said Mr Korir.

Chepkoilel Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) branch executive secretary Sammy Bor described the proposal as ill-advised.

“Uniform is for identity and every school has its own aim and objectives and motto. We have not been told what is wrong with the current school uniforms that necessitate change,” he said.

But the proposal received some support from some quarters.

Elgeyo Marakwet KUPPET Executive Secretary, John Chesergon Kuppet said the proposal was welcome if it would curb manipulation of costs by uniform sellers.

“I have no problem if it is tied with reduction of uniform prices in the market, but the ministry should understand that the proposal might not achieve all desired policy results,” he said.
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