In a press statement, Dr S.J. Utete- Masango, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, said that parents are free to get uniforms for their children from places of their own choosing.
School uniform syndicates
Everyone who has been, or has sent a child, to a new school knows this. Upon applying and being accepted you are given a list of requirements. These requirements often include uniforms and sportswear. Over the years most schools have sort of implied that you are required to buy uniforms from the school only. Usually these uniforms are prohibitively expensive when compared to the open market.
While the proceeds from these sales sometimes go towards school activities more often than not the whole thing is run by a syndicate of school officials and their friends and relatives. School officials award contracts to their friends or relatives to supply the school with uniforms which are sold above market price. They then receive kickbacks from these suppliers.
You can buy your uniform where you want but …
According to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education the official position is that you can buy your uniforms wherever you want. That is provided these uniforms are in line with the school’s requirements.
Realistically however it is very difficult to get your own uniforms outside the school system. Most schools have gone to the trouble of customizing their uniforms in ways that make it impossible for you to buy them anywhere else. A badge here, streaks of colour there and all sorts of fancy tweaks that serve no other purpose but to make the uniform unique.
So you in truth you have no choice but to buy uniforms from the school.