School Uniform Law Won’t Specify Design

MOSCOW, May 6 (RIA Novosti) – A senior lawmaker, Vyacheslav Nikonov, said on Monday that the planned law to introduce uniforms to Russian schools will only lay down “general principles” and will not specify designs.

Several different bills concerning the reintroduction of school uniforms have already been submitted to the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, the State Duma. The Izvestia daily reported on Monday that lawmakers had decided that the future law should include a set of nationwide uniform styles, as authorities in many Russian regions have shown reluctance to undertake the task of designing clothes for schoolchildren.

Nikonov, who heads the State Duma’s education committee, said the law will not include color or style requirements for school uniform.

“Initially it was envisaged that uniform design will be up to schools to decide, and that’s how it will be,” Nikonov said. “The task is to lay down certain general principles, such as the principle of secularism.”

The reintroduction of uniforms in Russian schools has been in the spotlight in past months, amid a series of disputes between regional education officials and students over wearing symbols of their religious affiliation, such as traditional Muslim headscarves, in schools and universities.

Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly expressed his support for reintroducing uniforms to Russian schools during his question and answer session on April 25.

Mandatory school uniforms were abolished in Russia in 1992.

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