Amid backlash on uniform policy, Valenzuela-based private school says guidelines ‘self-imposed,’ not meant to pressure students

June 16, 2020 - 8:35 PM
People using a computer
Unidentified people using a desktop computer. (Pixabay/ StartupStockPhotos)

A private school in Valenzuela City on Tuesday issued a clarification on its post about a school uniform requirement after it received criticisms online.

The Children of Mary Immaculate College was bashed for previously stating that “students and teachers are required to wear school uniform during online classes.”

The post was part of the school’s Facebook album on “Frequently Asked Questions” uploaded on Monday.

It contained a series of questions in light of the upcoming virtual classes this school year. Physical or face-to-face classes were called off until a vaccine for the coronavirus disease is made available to the public.

“Are school uniforms required?” one of the questions read.

One of the posts uploaded by the Children of Mary Immaculate College Valenzuela in relation to the imminent online classes. (Screengrab by Interaksyon)

The school affirmed that students and teachers were “required” to wear their respective uniforms during the conduct of online classes.

This remark then gained traction and was criticized by online users who questioned the need for school uniforms during distance learning.

“Ayos din ah. Dagdag gastos pa sa mga magulang. Di ba pwedeng collared t-shirt na lang,” a Facebook user commented.

“Ginagawa nyu? Haha nasa crisis tayo ngayun. May mga namromroblema na pamilya sa gastusin sa tuition at pagkain. Ta’s dadagdag pa kayo sa stress, pagod at gastusin sa paglalaba ng mga uniporme?” another online user wrote.

Others asked whether the uniform policy would “contribute to the learning process” or not.

“If they want to conduct live teaching, maybe they could give guidelines on how to look ‘presentable/professional’ during an online class,” an online user said.

In view of this, Children of Mary Immaculate College released a statement to clarify the Facebook post.

“It has come to our attention that there are various malicious and disparaging comments about what you read in reference to wearing of school uniform during online classes. This is a self-imposed guideline,” it said.

The school added that a school uniform is a “badge of pride” which can supposedly do the following: “Improve learning by reducing distraction, sharpening focus on schoolwork and making the online classroom a more serious environment, allowing students to perform better academically.”

The academic institution likewise claimed that the uniform policy may reduce “peer pressure” among students who might be inclined to worry about their clothing when in video chats during classes.

“When everyone is dressed the same, worrying about you look like would not be so important. There is no competition about being dressed in the latest trend, which would put a great deal of financial pressure on students and parents,” it said.

Some workers responsible for producing school uniforms have previously aired their concerns on their livelihood amid the coronavirus pandemic since physical classes were called off.

“Malaking effect nu’n kasi ang aming production, 1 year namin ginawa, naka-ready na ‘yung aming uniform so nangapital na kami kung di madi-dispose ibig sabihin wala na kami kabuhayan totally,” Emma Uy said in an interview with ABS-CBN.

The Department of Education announced that online classes for the school year 2020-2021 are set to start on August 24.

Alternative learning methods being considered are holding online classes, giving out printed modules to students through pick-up method or delivery and teaching lessons through the use of television and radio.