Stakeholders in the education sector have expressed different opinions on the appropriate dress code for school teachers.
Some people believed that teachers, as role models to their learners should have a moderate dress code devoid of excessive use of cosmetics and jewellery, and provocative clothing.
The stakeholders made known their thoughts on the Concerned Parents Educators Network Facebook platform.
A parent who preferred to be anonymous posted, “I need advice from parents, teachers, and school owners. I went to check out a school I’m to enroll my kids. I liked almost everything I saw about the school but something has got me restless, I noticed the teacher of a particular class which would be my son’s class has this weird hair cut dyed with a loud colour, fixed long nails painted with loud colours too.
“I can’t start complaining at this stage, perhaps I’m not the kind of person that complains, but then I find this really disturbing for a teacher who would be teaching kids, I know that even in the cooperate world this kind of look is not allowed.
“What do you think? This is making me think twice about enrolling my kids there. Or am I just overreacting? It is a primary school.”
Some members of the platform shared their different opinion on her post.
One of them, Edith Anyanwu, said “You are simply being judgmental and overreacting too. Teach your child at home madam.”
Another parent, Wendy Henshaw, said, “How teachers dress is of utmost importance. There are certain dress patterns that are not acceptable in a school environment. I mean, these children look up to their teachers as role models; this lady has every reason to be worried and to consider her options. I am shocked that people don’t see why this lady is worried. Dressing in the manner above is not appropriate in a school environment, especially the younger years.”
A teacher, Shodunke Adefunke Olusesi, also added, “This should not be accepted in school. But first thing first, probably the head of school did not see that or it is normal in their school to dress anyhow.”
“One thing is sure in this profession of ours. Teachers are role models. How do you model a student when you dress indecently?”
In an interview, the Director-General of the Lagos State Office of Education Quality Assurance, Mrs. Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, said, “There should be a code of conduct because teachers are working in a professional environment, It is important to be in alignment with what the school authority has said.
“Teachers are professionals working with multiple stakeholders, so they should dress decently.
“There should be a code of conduct from the school at the time of employment that should tell teachers what the expectation is; if you are in religious-based schools, they may say your skirt has to be a certain length; this should be the length of your skirt, you have to wear stockings, you cannot wear sneakers, there are different code of conducts and that has a lot to do with the way you dress and exhibit professionalism.
Similarly, a fashion entrepreneur, Chinenye Azubike-Onyegbu, in an interview said every organisation should have a dress code.
“Speaking both as a corporate garment/uniforms manufacturer and a trained human resource professional, I believe all organisations should have a dress code.
“Every organisation including schools must have a set of dress code that is properly documented and communicated. The purpose of dress code is to guide the employees on what is acceptable within the organisation.
“These dress codes must include types of clothes to put on indicating what styles are acceptable and those which are not. It should include length for gowns and skirts.
“Attention should be made to discourage any form of provocative dressing including wearing tight and skimpy dresses to class. These forms of attires end up distracting the students from paying attention in class and stirring up their erotic desires and feelings towards the said teacher.
“Also after parents, teachers are the major models that children look up to and hence these attires could create a conflict and may confuse the message many parents stress on issues of modesty.
“The child’s perception of the teacher too is important. A teacher should model success, modesty and elegance. He should gain the respect and admiration of his students to enhance learning.
“Tinting of hair to very attractive colors may also be a source of distraction to many adolescent students,” she said.
Author: Grace Edema