More than 80 percent of schools breach Ministry of Education regulations and do not allow students to wear winter clothing, a group of youth organizations said on Thursday, calling on the ministry to enforce its rules.
A survey of 1,438 students at 853 schools found that 84.3 percent of schools are ignoring ministry regulations that allow students to wear winter clothing inside or outside their uniform during cold weather, the Taiwan Youth Association for Democracy said.
The regulations also state that the definition of “cold weather” should be determined by the student rather than the school, the association said.
Photo: Su Meng-chuan, Taipei Times
However, students reported being punished or issued a warning if they wore a hat, gloves, jacket or scarf without obtaining permission in advance, it said.
About 54 percent of schools still maintain an outright ban on students wearing warm clothing on top of their uniform, while others stipulate a certain temperature under which students can wear winter clothing, it added.
Some schools restrict certain types of clothing without advance permission, such as scarves, hats or sweatshirts, and even particular colors, the association said.
Punishments ranged from a warning to doing push-ups, cleaning or running errands, the survey showed.
Association deputy director Ho Wei-tzu (何蔚慈) said that the survey responses show that the practice has continued for a long time and students feel powerless to stop it.
Student associations that have attempted to impose the ministry’s regulations through proper channels have been pressured or threatened by administrators, Ho said.
It is ironic that so many schools require their students to follow their rules, but are not themselves following the ministry’s rules, he said.
The ministry’s K-12 Education Administration should investigate whether schools are following the regulations and not leave it up to students to fight for their rights, he added.
The K-12 Education Administration yesterday said that it had reissued documents to local education departments demanding that they remind schools to comply with the ministry’s regulations.
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