Pakistan: Dress code for male, female teachers within educational institutions

Filed on September 7, 2021
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All principals have been directed to ensure that their teaching and non-teaching staff ensure personal hygiene.

The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) has instructed the female teachers not to wear jeans and tights while it banned their male counterparts from wearing jeans and T-shirts, as part of a new dress code, Dawn reported.

All principals have been directed to ensure that their teaching and non-teaching staff (both male and female) ensured personal hygiene, including regular haircut, beard trimming, nail cutting and use of perfume.

In a letter, the FDE directed the principals of schools and colleges to ensure implementation of the dress code and personal hygiene of the staff.

“All heads of institutions/section in-charges shall ensure that every staff member observes reasonably good measures in their physical appearance and personal hygiene,” the letter issued by the director of academics stated.

Gatekeepers must always wear their recommended uniforms while all the support staff may also be allocated a uniform, the letter said..

All staff shall maintain formal dress code while in the institutions’ premises and during official gatherings, ceremonies and meetings.

“It is recommended that all teaching staff must wear teaching gown while teaching in the class and lab coats while taking practical periods in laboratories,” the letter said.

It added that the non-teaching staff must always have a presentable appearance with neat, clean and properly ironed clothes and appropriate shoes.

Recommending a formal dress for females, the letter includes: “Appropriate simple and decent shalwar qameez, trouser, shirt with dupatta/shawl. Purdah observing females are allowed to wear scarf/hijab while ensuring its clean and neat appearance. Wearing of jeans and tights are not allowed in any case. Only formal shoes (pumps, loafers and mules) are allowed. Owing to long-standing hours during teaching, comfortable shoes like sneakers and sandals can be worn as well. But wearing of slippers is not allowed at all.

During the winter season, coats, blazers as well as sweaters, jerseys, cardigans and shawls of decent colours and design are allowed, it stated

Male staff should “wear appropriate, simple and decent shalwar qameez preferably with waistcoat in accordance with the weather conditions. Wear dress shirt (full sleeves preferably with tie) and trousers (dress and cotton pants only). Wearing jeans is not allowed in any case. During the summer, a half sleeves dress shirt or bush shirt can also be worn but t-shirts of all types are not allowed.

“Only formal shoes (dress shoes, loafers, moccasins and boots) must be worn and owing to longstanding hours during teaching comfortable shoes like sneakers and sandals can be worn as well.

“However, wearing of slippers is not allowed at all,” the FDE letter said.

Wearing shalwar qameez with waistcoat, pant and shirt with tie (preferably jacket/coat) was mandatory for males.

For females, event-appropriate decent dress (shalwar qameez, trouser, shirt) with dupatta/shawl must be observed. “Fancy/party dresses in official gatherings/meetings are discouraged,” added the letter.

While commenting on the letter, a teacher on condition of anonymity said in many institutions under the FDE, particularly in colleges, there were many PhD degree holding teachers who along with other teaching and non-teaching staff were now supposed to observe regular haircut, nail cut besides using perfume.

However, he wondered as to why there were no such instructions for students. “Instructions related to hair and nail cuts should be for students, not for teachers. It is strange, however, I personally support the instruction related to the dress code,” he said.

When contacted, a director of the FDE said the letter was issued with good intentions. It is the responsibility of teachers to observe a proper dress code as they are role models for students.

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