Mathichon News: Published on 4 November 2022
Top Thailand’s Schools and Universities believe ‘non-uniform’ policy led to qualitative and quantitative students
Permanent Secretary for Education raised objection to Council of University Presidents of Thailand for allowing students to wear non-uniform outfits and color their hair and nail to TCAS Examination since it could create undisciplined behavior. RMUT and KU hope to make students feel happier by easing the regulations
On November 3rd, Council of University Presidents of Thailand announced its registration date for university admission in Thai University Central Admission System (TCAS) Academic Year 2023 or TCAS 2023. The website ‘mytcas.com’ is opened to register for those would like to take Thai General Aptitude Test (TGAT) or Thai Professional Aptitude Test (TPAT) on either paper or computer. Students taking the tests are allowed to have their nail and hair colors as well as wear glasses or contact lenses while private outfits and school uniforms including shirts, polos, gym suits, long and short pants and trousers, and short-skirts are not all prohibited. The Permanent Secretary for Education, Dr Atthaphon Sangkhawasee personally disagreed with the idea since he believed that the policy might cause students undisciplined manner in schools and universities. He believed that students should be molded to bring out best in them including discipline, responsibility, ethics, and merits. His question to the Council of University Presidents of Thailand was, ‘Could it be possible for students to see their importance?”. We should keep them in the university regulations to create a classroom culture where students can learn ethics and social responsibilities.
Council of University Presidents of Thailand and Associate Professor Dr. Sommai Pivsa-Art, as President of Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi (RMUTT) all agreed that letting students wear whatever they want could hep ease their pressure during testing. RMUTT President further revealed, ‘I personally have no problem with the idea of Council of University Presidents of Thailand. I think that allowing students to wear private outfits could ease exam stress. Obviously, the Council only require students to dress politely. You may think permission for non-uniform outfits will lead students to undisciplined behaviors, I will have to disagree since each university already own their policy and regulations. When students are as part of the university, it is already a must to follow those rules and regulations. Whether you are LBGQT or not, in RMUTT and various universities, students are allowed to wear whatever they want if it doesn’t go against the rules. RMUTT emphasizes on developing students who are equipped with both hard skill and soft skill. In previous meetings, we as members of Council of University Presidents of Thailand used to make discussion on student’s freedom of choice. Our focus as universities will be based on making our students better academically and professionally and if we can our students will be such a great asset to the society and the country as a whole.
While Dr. Chongrak Wachrinrat, as President of Kastetsart University added, “Our KU would not reject the idea since we believe that our new generation is shaping up our future, they should be allowed to choose what they want including nail and hair colors but all they need to do is just dress politely. Wearing university uniforms would definitely make them look clean, disciplined and nice. But don’t worry students will be allowed non-uniform outfits on special occasions.
There were students who agree and disagree with the idea. Miss Pornchita Hlothong, a twelve-grade student of Trium Udomsuksa School (Northern Campus) located in Pitsanulok totally agreed with the notion because she believed it’s a personal right. Students would pass or not pass not because of their outfits but rather their knowledge.
While Kanyaputh Siri, another 12-grade student from Trium Udomsuksa School (Northern Campus) also agreed on the idea of letting students wear both private outfits of uniforms, “I think it looks quite disciplined to see students wear uniforms but you must let them choose what to wear. Importantly, students should be wearing something polite since we are taking the examination in the official place.
Chiangmai and Korat-based Universities also asked for a clear explanation. Assistant Prof. Dr. Pongruk Sribanditmongkol as President of Chiang Mai university, expressed his thoughts on the issue, “In the policy of Council of University Presidents of Thailand, it is cleared that we allow our students to wear either uniforms or private outfits, it really depends on their personal choice. Meanwhile, some of the students might be confused with what to wear and not to wear so as the nail colors, which are of course allowed. “Currently in KU, we do not prohibit our students to wear whatever they want but to take examination, they need to proof who they are by showing their id before taking any university tests. I don’t it’s a problem at all. The invigilators themselves might even like the color those nails. But leaving the room without asking for permission is something else.
Director of an all-girls school, Suranaree Wittaya School situated in Mueng District, Nakorn Ratchsrima mentioned, “Personally, I don’t see any problems with this new policy. All you need to do is just make all universities unveil their cl ear policies so students would know what to do and not to do. Our school has always been used as an examination hall, all policies for examination test takers will be reinforced by us including dressing, ATK test, etc. Please be clear because It could cost us and students confusion during the test day. Director of Hatt Yai College, Mr. Udom Chuleepan totally supported the idea, “To us it is no problem. The opinions of Council of University Presidents of Thailand are just fine. We also allow our students to do their nail colors and wear their private outfits to the test. All we hope for is to make the students wear their clothes politely. It could be school uniforms or polite private outfits. It is all open to select. Some students might want their nails color, some still need to take tests at official places including TGAT-TPAT during December. So, it really depends on each school’s rules and regulation.