Friday, 22 February 2019

Forum: SAF did it; time for schools to also modify uniforms

Ms Cindy Guo (Give children respect, privacy, Feb 11) and Ms Yong Su Lin (Redesign Nanyang Girls' High School uniform, Feb 18) called for certain schools to redesign their uniforms to make them more practical and comfortable.

With global temperatures rising, school uniforms that are double-, triple-or even quadruple-layered should be phased out.

Take the example of the pinafores worn by students of Raffles Girls' School and many convent girls' schools - part of uniforms designed decades ago. The pinafores themselves are pleated, and are hence triple-layered in most areas except at the top and on the sides. Beneath that, the girls are required to wear a blouse or polo T-shirt.

According to a report by Singapore's National Climate Change Secretariat, the annual mean temperature rose from 26.6 deg C in 1972 to 27.7 deg C in 2014. It warned of more occurrences of heat stress and discomfort among the elderly and sick.

In the light of this, it would be negligent to ignore the plight of students made to wear numerous layers of clothing in what may be stuffy, non-air-conditioned classroom environments.

I applaud the Singapore Armed Forces for leading the way by introducing cooler combat uniforms, and I strongly urge the Ministry of Education to follow suit.

We should not wait for incidents of heat-related injury among students before we are galvanised into action.

Yew Woon Si (Dr)


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