Should Schools Monitor Student Clothing?

Students wearing jeans or tight clothes is commonplace in the West while the same practice in Pakistan is considered unethical.

pakistan-student-clothingISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A fierce debate has recently cropped up in the media after prestigious Pakistani schools started fining female students for wearing jeans and tight clothes. The current trend to pursue a dress code rather to encourage the originality of ideas is going to flourish the quality of education or conservative thinking.

University students are typically young adults mature enough to differentiate between right and wrong. After spending twelve painstaking years in school and college, students have developed a mature thinking and personality necessary to enter the workforce. They do not need to be taught how to behave and be told what is good for them or what is not.

Universities across the world promote creativity and nurture originality of thought, and freedom and independence should be given on the graduation level so students can decide what is best for them. Globally, Pakistan has dismal figures in educating their masses. It did not even meet its Millennium Development Goal, signed in 2000 to bring the literacy rate of the country to 85 percent in 2015.

Youth in Pakistan make up about 56 percent and most of them are out of school. Unfortunately, only 5 percent of these young adults reach the university level. Even these students are unable to gain steady employment. Students want the relevant skills to make them marketable in the workforce after graduating.

For society to be civilized, character building and discipline must be encouraged. But it should be promoted at an earlier stage in a child’s life to help the student develop and mature this type of critical thinking.

Immoral practices are also thriving rapidly in today’s society

The television and media industry contributes to this trend by promoting irrelevant fashions and luxurious lifestyles. Popular entertainment reflects different aspects of society aesthetically, but it also negatively affects society by promoting indecency and vulgarity.

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Moreover, the media’s portrayal of foreign culture prompts us to follow their lifestyle. Wearing jeans or tight clothes is commonplace in the West while the same practice in Pakistan is considered unethical. This thinking varies from person to person.

Secularists argue that dictating what type of clothing to wear shows inflexibility and harms personal freedom. In the 21st century, developed countries focus more on gaining knowledge, research and creativity. There are now more PhD scholars in Europe and the United States than in the developing world. However, the priority of scholars must be to devise new and novel ways of learning methods and promoting education.

In conclusion, the university should promote knowledge and research to foster new creativity. Pakistan is in need of education reform but not in teaching ethics and morality. Imparting creative thinking and market-oriented skills must be the priority of the educationist rather than devising a dress code to give morality and ethic lesson to the students.

Tariq Hussain writes for the Lahore-based tabloid newspaper, Pakistan Today. He earned a degree in Mass Communication from National University of Modern Languages in Islamabad. Tariq started his career in 2010 by joining a news agency, Infochange News and Feature Networks.