Keep the focus on students learning instead

It has been argued that having a dress code for tertiary students would show the world that we are a disciplined society (Implement dress code for university students, by Mr Pavithran Vidyadharan; Dec 28).

But would this not also reinforce the impression that Singapore is a nanny state?

Having a dress code does not correlate with being a better thinker or being more creative. In fact, most start-ups in Singapore do not adhere to an office dress code.

The beauty of the status quo is that it helps universities reduce the notion of social class divisions.

Not dictating the types of clothes to be worn keeps the focus on students sharing or gaining knowledge.

Every decision to scale back the freedoms accorded to students must be carefully weighed against the bigger picture, because it risks setting back efforts to promote a spirit of healthy risk-taking among our young.

Lionel Loi Zhi Rui

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 30, 2017, with the headline 'Keep the focus on students learning instead'. Print Edition | Subscribe