Come the new academic session, droves of tracksuit clad students walking to school will be replaced by droves in ghos and kiras.
The Ministry of Education (MoE) recently decided that it will allow track suits in health and physical education classes only.
Except for schools like Lungtenzampa, most Thimphu schools let students wear tracksuits during the whole school hour, especially when sporting activities were included in the day’s schedule.
Pema C. Wangdi, Principal of YHSS, one of Bhutan’s most reputed schools, deems the new rules a hassle to the students.
“Without proper washrooms and changing rooms for the students, repeated changing will only waste time.”
Karma Lhamo, a Motithang class XII student, said that she was not happy with the new rules because track suits were undeniably more comfortable.
“I think students have to be comfortable for a better learning environment,” Karma said.
The Vice Principal of Motithang HSS, Gopal Pradhan says, “The new rules are good as part of a bigger cause, but I feel it is not so comfortable. When students are allowed to wear tracks they are morally boosted for they are representing the school and it is a sort of encouragement for students.”
Adding to this he said that the school had come up with new rules in the school. Here-on, students will be allowed to wear shorts and T-shirts for the PE classes after which, formal dresses will have to be donned. No students will be allowed to come for the assembly in sports outfits he said.
Sigyel, YHSS sports coordinator said that not allowing student to wear tracks in primary schools was fine but high schools were a different story.
“The students are matured and not allowing them to wear tracksuits is inconvenient for them,” he said. “Tracksuit is an international dress and it should be allowed in schools. It should be discussed again and I hope it will be re-allowed.” He added that having to carry it to and from school would also be an inconvenience for the students.
Parents said that it was, in a way, good in that it reduced expenses but, at the same time, were undivided in saying that tracksuits should be allowed if their children were involved in any school sporting event.