Some individualistic students often moan that school uniform stifles their freedom of self-expression. However, I recall in my school years, with red pens clipped on their shirt pockets, teachers doing random uniform inspections and ceremoniously uttering statements along the lines of school uniforms being the schools identity, it should be thus observed diligently and worn with pride.
School uniforms also occupy many debates chaired at school among students, as to whether they improve academic efficacy and discipline. With all these noises about school uniforms, it is apparent that it is a significant part of ones primary and secondary school career, the lack of which might prove to be distressing to students.
Seven students, selected by the schools’ guidance committee at Thebe Primary School, in White City, were given their school’s regulatory tracksuits, polo neck t-shirts, socks and school shoes.
The gospel choir, Baineetseng Go Jehovah, as part of their social responsibility, chose to donate school uniforms to the students of the school that had been their rehearsal venue for the past 8 years.
Violet Loeto, the guidance and counselling teacher at the school, says the choir requested five students for whom they could buy basic uniforms.
“We came up with seven names, and the choir agreed to sponsor all of them.”
When asked about the criteria used to select the said students, Loeto says, “An effort was made not to make the students feel set apart from the rest of the students. Some are orphaned, others from poverty-stricken households,” she said.
The parents of 5 of the students have expressed gratitude, she added.
Loeto says that the school is grateful for the Baineetseng Go Jehovah’s contribution.
“There is a lot of negligence by parents at ensuring that their children adhere to regulated school uniforms.”
She cited SOS Children’s Village as having made a similar contribution to seven other students.
The gospel choir, that released their debut album titled A Sedi Ja Lona through Gallo Music Group in 1996, have contributed to social responsibility in White City, where they are based by performing a concert in 2001, the proceeds of which were donated to the White City Home-Based Care which, at the time, also serviced Bontleng and New Stance.
Baineetseng Go Jehovah’s Vice Chairperson, Sejosennye Moalosi, says, “We have also done a fund raising show for the Red Cross. Last December we also donated toiletries to White City Home Based Care.”
The choir was formed in 1991, rehearsed at the primary school from 1995 till April this year, which is why they identified the school for such a donation.
“Uniforms help children feel like they are not unlike other students,” says Moalosi, “preventing inferiority complexes in the young students.”
Though the choir has recorded three albums to date, the last in 2002 titled O Bale Masego, Moalosi says they are not a profit-making organisation.
White City’s Councillor, Gabonewe, has commended the choir for their contribution to their community; he spoke of the spirit of volunteerism and compassion, which he likened to the spirit of old when, after harvest, the better-off members of the community shared their bounty with the less advantaged.