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Kezia Toh

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TO AVOID taxing needy families, principal of South View Primary Jenny Yeo said that only Primary 1 pupils had to buy new uniforms.

Older pupils could wear their existing uniform - a dark-blue and beige pinafore - till they left the school.

Existing pupils who have worn out their old uniforms could also buy the new ones.

"The interim period was messy with the old and new, but we did not want parents to spend alot of money buying new sets of uniforms," said Mrs Yeo.

She tweaked the school's uniform in 2006 - a year after taking over as the school's principal (in 2005) - to differentiate itself from other similar uniforms in the school's vicinity.

She also wanted to use batik for 'local flavour', and have her pupils - aged between seven and 12 - move around in material that does not crumple easily.

The result: a lightweight blue-white uniform with patches of batik, costing about $20 to $28 per set, depending on sizes - similar to the price of the old uniform.

Changing a uniform also does not rob the school of its identity, said Mrs Yeo.

The school showcases its old uniform in an exhibition space.

"We can still showcase this rich heritage, but make uniforms practical for pupils everyday by improving design, comfort and the quality of material," she said.

keziatoh@sph.com.sg