The Yogi Adityanath government has decided to replace the khaki uniform for students in state-run schools with smarter dresses that adhere to Indian culture, education department officials said on Thursday.
The in-principle decision annuls the 2012 move by the Akhilesh Yadav government which had introduced khaki replacing the decades-old navy blue shorts/trousers for boys and skirts/salwar paired with sky blue shirts/tunics for girls.
Officials said the new school colours -- likely to be implemented from the new academic session -- will be finalised very soon after consultations with education minister Anupama Jaiswal.
The move is part of the new BJP government’s reforms that aim to clean up the state’s edcuation sector.
It will impact an estimated 1.85 crore students in over 1 lakh government-run primary and more than 45,000 upper primary schools in 75 districts of the state.
“We have floated the idea for change in the uniform’s colour in UP government schools as there were many adverse views on the existing khaki colour. As soon as the state government gives us the go ahead the change would be implemented...,” Ajay Kumar Singh, the secretary for basic education, told Hindustan Times from Lucknow.
Singh said the idea was put before the chief minister during a presentation in Lucknow on April 3 when Yogi Adityanath took stock of the education department which has been mired in many scandals including rampant mass copying during class 10 and 12 exams.
Officials said Yogi Adityanath had earlier expressed unhappiness over the khaki uniform, saying it resembled that of a home guard jawan than that of a school student.
The decision was also taken so that government school students do not feel “inferior” to those going to private schools, who have more vibrant colours.
The proposal has found many takers, including teachers and students.
Several teachers said the choice of khaki colour for school uniform was a poor one and the government went ahead with it despite opposition from parents, teachers and even students at the time.
“We had opposed the khaki colour uniform in 2012 when it was implemented. We had pointed out that children may also lack confidence owing to it. However, all our reservations were completely ignored,” said Devendra Srivastava, district president of the Uttar Pradeshiya Prathmik Shikshak Sangh.
“We believe a better choice of colour for the uniform will help boost confidence of students and make them take pride in the school dress that they wear.”
The chief minister is said to be keen to roll out the BJP’s promise to provide free books, uniform, shoes and school bags to all poor students between July 1 to 10.
“I don’t want any student from poor family coming to school barefoot. Please ensure dress, books, bags and shoes are provided free of cost to the poor students. I don’t want students to suffer just because their parents are poor,” Yogi was quoted as saying in the recent meeting.