Students in Shenzhen to get same uniform
You may not be all that happy with your school uniform, but how would you feel if every student in the city wore the same one?
This is what the Shenzhen Government has in store for more than 500,000 primary and secondary school pupils.
From September, school uniforms will be phased out in favour of the 'student uniform' - a process that will be completed in three years, according to the Southern Metropolitan News .
The student uniform will include summer and winter sets for boys and girls. Primary and secondary designs will be different.
A design competition has been held, with students, parents, teachers and fashion designers as judges.
Three finalists have been selected in each of the categories - summer sets for primary boys and girls, summer sets for secondary boys and girls, plus winter sets for each.
A final selection will now be made, professional designers will modify the choices as required, and manufacturers will be invited to tender for production of the winning outfits.
The Government will keep an eye on the whole process.
The action is in response to increasing complaints about existing uniforms, such as dissatisfaction about material and durability, and allegations that some schools reap huge profits through commissions on uniforms.
The policy has been criticised by some educators in Hong Kong, however.
'School uniforms reflect the school culture, which varies among schools. Students often have a sense of pride associated with the uniform and the school,' said Wah Yan College principal George Tam Siu-ping.
St Paul's Convent School principal Sister Margaret Wong said uniforms, like badges, were symbols of schools.
'Uniforms help to tell who is from which school and make management easier,' she said. 'Besides, there should be variety in uniforms. Having the same throughout the city is too boring.'