Life & Style

South Korea: The School Uniform Shortage

school uniform shortage

There will be school uniform shortage in South Korea. Thousands of South Korean students will not have school uniforms for the upcoming semester. They have to start the new school year with casual attire. The school uniform shortage is due to the shut-down of a jointly-run industrial venture in North Korea.

Suppliers based in Gaeseong Industrial Complex (GIC) cannot deliver the goods after the complex was shut down due to strained relationship between South Korea and North Korea, reported The Korea Times. The new semester will begin from March 2, but the students will have to wait for the new uniforms for up to two months. North Korea expelled all South Korean workers from the industrial complex following the South’s announcement of shut-down of the joint venture.

The manufacturer based at the Kaesong Industrial complex reported that they had to abandon thousands of unfinished uniforms as North Korea ordered all South Korean workers to leave the complex. Mansun, a uniform subcontractor to Hyungji Elite and the largest uniform manufacturer in the country, said that around 80,000 sets of uniforms were left behind in the complex in Gaeseong.

An official from Mansun commented, “When we were forced out, we were not allowed to take our products with us. Not only us but three other subcontractors for school uniform manufacturers were prevented from bringing the products, causing the uniform supply shortage.”

According to BBC the South Korea’s education ministry confirmed that there will be delay in uniform supplies. The schools are instructed to relax their dress codes until the new uniforms are provided to the students.

A Ministry of Education official said, “We requested schools to submit a report if students have to come to school not properly dressed due to the GIC shutdown.”

He further stated, “until students are able to do so, we recommend that schools allow a casual dress code. We have been collecting opinions and reports from schools since last Friday, and we will help minimize confusion.”

The ministry is also planning to campaign and ask students to use second hand uniforms.  This will encourage younger students to wear their seniors’ uniforms.

However, even if the students have liked the idea of an extended non-uniform day, parents are not very happy with the development.

Lately, there were reports that North is planning a terrorist attack on South Korea which created tension across the country. Related to these reports are news that South Korea is going to get some aid from the US to develop its missile defence system. Nevertheless, the victims in the showdown between both countries are the students and their parents.

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