School Uniforms in Indonesia

In Indonesia, school uniforms are mandatory for every student. They can be simply described as below for each stage of education:

Primary schools or Sekolah Dasar (SD) students wear a white short-sleeve shirt with red shorts for male students, and below-knee skirts for females.

Lower secondary schools or Sekolah Menengah Pertama (SMP) require navy blue shorts or trousers with a short-sleeve white shirt for male students. Females wear a below-knee-length or long navy blue skirt and short-sleeve white shirt.

Upper secondary schools Sekolah Menengah Atas (SMA) require blue-grey trousers with a short-sleeve white shirt. Females wear a below-knee-length or long blue-grey skirt, and wear short-sleeve or long-sleeve white shirts.

Public schools in Indonesia tolerate religious freedoms. For example, Muslim girls may opt to wear long-sleeve shirts, longer skirts, and jilbab to cover their heads. Most schools in Indonesia also have a batik uniform, usually worn on Thursday or Friday. This kind of uniform consists of a batik short-sleeve or long-sleeve shirt, with long or short trousers for SMA and below-knee or long skirts for females. The motifs and colours of batik depend on the school. Some schools tend to issue neckties and/or vests for their students. These neckties and vests may vary from school to school in colour and sewing pattern, even among public schools.

Nowadays, with the increase of private schools in Indonesia, most private schools have their own signature school uniform. Most consist of shirts with shorts or trousers for males, and skirts for females, only with differences on the colour.

Every school has its own standard grooming. Males are not allowed to have long hair. Accessories are also normally prohibited for males, except for watches. Females are usually allowed to use simple accessories such as watches, earrings, and sometimes bracelets. All students are prohibited from colouring their hair or having tattoos. Wearing nail polish is usually not allowed.

Most schools pay attention to the shoes that can be worn. Black or white sneakers with white laces are the most common shoes. Few higher-level students, such as in SMA or SMK, are normally required to wear black leather shoes.

The school badge is usually put on the right sleeve of a shirt, consist of school's name and location, and some have their own school's logo. Others prefer to wear the school's logo as a lapel or breast plastic or metal pin. The emblem of OSIS (Organisasi Siswa Intra Sekolah), or School's Intern Student Organization, is put on the shirt's left pocket. Students' names are usually on the right side of the shirt and embedded by sewing, ironing or as a detachable badge. Some schools (usually "SMP" and "SMA") distinguish the grade of their students by stripes on the official neckties issued or an emblem below the school emblem (it can be stripes, chevrons or numbers). Nowadays some schools require the students to wear an Indonesian flag school badge sewn on top of their left pocket.

The scouts (pramuka) uniform is used in many schools in Indonesia at least once a week. It consists of light-brown short-sleeve or long-sleeve shirts, with dark-brown shorts or trousers, and below-knee skirts or longer for females. The common day to wear the scout uniform usually falls on Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday. Furthermore, on certain occasions (usually on ceremonies or competitions), the uniform should be worn as full dress, with red and white scarf/necktie, dark brown beret, rope, dagger and scout's stick.

The scout uniform has two breast pockets. Above right pocket is the student's name. The Gerakan Pramuka Indonesia (Indonesian Scout Movement) logo is sewn on the left pocket (for male students). On the right sleeve there are scouting organization's location, number and logo, while on the left sleeve usually are the student's scouting team logo and chevrons denoting his/her grade. Male students wear International Scout Organization logo above their name and female students on their lapel.

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