Concerned over drop in enrolment in govt schools, Himachal to change student uniform | education | Hindustan Times
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Concerned over drop in enrolment in govt schools, Himachal to change student uniform

The decision was taken after a committee, formed by the education department earlier this year, recommended introduction of new uniform to bring a change in attitude of government schoolchildren

education Updated: Jan 29, 2018 19:07 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Every year, the state government, under the Mahatma Gandhi School Uniform Scheme, supplies two sets of uniforms for students free of cost.
Every year, the state government, under the Mahatma Gandhi School Uniform Scheme, supplies two sets of uniforms for students free of cost.(HT File)

Students of Himachal Pradesh government schools are in for a makeover.

In a bid to improve the enrolment rate in government schools, the new BJP regime has decided to do away with the four-decade old combination of grey and white student uniform and replace it with ‘smarter’ dress from the next academic session.

The decision was taken after a committee, formed by the education department earlier this year, recommended introduction of new uniform to bring a change in attitude of government schoolchildren. The education department has sought designs from a Hamirpur-based fashion institute. “The old uniform will be changed with the 2017-18 academic session,” said Dr Arun Sharma, secretary of education department.

A department official said academicians, scholars and non-government organisations are also being consulted in this regard. “Different sectors are being consulted as some people have reservations about dress for girl students,” said the official.

Why the change

Even as the state government has been opening and upgrading government schools, the enrolment rate, especially in primary schools, continues to plunge. In primary classes, the number of enrolments came down from 5.89 lakh in 2003 to 3.23 lakh in 2015. Enrollment in government schools declined more in rural areas in the last academic session (2016- 2017).

Deterioration in education standards has also been a concern for the state government. Last year’s annual report of the education department had painted a grim picture of government schools. The data revealed that in all there are 14,33,260 students in the schools, out of which, 9,31,187 (65%) are in government schools and over 5 lakh in private institutions.

Declining results of government schools was also noted. In 2016-2017, there were as many as 24 senior secondary schools and 102 high schools where results were below 20% and in six high schools, results was 0%.

“Change in the uniform pattern will definitely help raising the level of confidence of students and parents. There is a growing feeling amongst parents in rural areas that private schools are better than government. This notions needs to changed,” said Virender Sharma, a government teacher.

Current uniform

At present, girls studying in government schools are required to wear light grey shirt with white salwar while boys have to wear grey trousers with white shirt.

Every year, the state government, under the Mahatma Gandhi School Uniform Scheme, supplies two sets of uniforms for students free of cost.