Schoolgirl Skirt Length

Jul 3rd, 2006, in News, by

The authorities of Makassar, South Sulawesi, are tackling the issue of schoolgirl skirt length.

The city administration of Makassar, often called Ujung Pandang, after some study of the issue, have decided that female high school students should no longer wear skirts that fail to reach the knee, and ideally should wear attire that covers the entirety of their legs, down to the ankles. Mayor Arief Sirajuddin informed the Education Department in the city of the new rule recently and a letter has been sent (28th June) to all schools, both state and private, reminding them of their new obligation to police skirt length.

Girls in the first year of either junior or senior high school will be required to wear full length skirts while those in the second and third years of either junior or senior high are only recommended to wear such skirts.

We have already sent out the letter to schools and every school is required to implement the policy.
(Kami memang sudah mengeluarkan surat edaran ke sekolah-sekolah, dan setiap sekolah wajib melaksanakannya.)

said Muhammad Asmin, head of the education authority.

This new victory in the struggle for appropriate dress for girls comes hot on the heels of another, similar, ruling from the South Sulawesi education department. Previously girls who were designated as flag-bearers in school were required to change out of their skirts into trousers before carrying out their flag raising duties, for reasons of modesty, said an official in the department.

Update 5th July

The issue of skirt length appears to have aroused some controversy. Muhammad Asmin says the matter has nothing to do with Islam, long skirts are not Islamic dress.

Long skirts are not muslimah attire. They are the norm in education nationally. They are so girls appear respectable and in accordance with our culture.
(Rok panjang itu bukan pakaian muslimah. Ini pakaian nasional di lingkungan pendidikan. Kan terlihat santun sesuai dengan budaya kita.)

He adds that there is no connection with the RUU APP, the proposed anti-indecency law being debated in Jakarta. Also he says the matter is not compulsory except for first year students, second and third year girls will only be encouraged to dress modestly. He said that there no schools which had refused to abide by the ruling and that he had begun informing schools of the new requirement six months ago.

There are no schools which object.
(…tak ada sekolah yang keberatan)

There are some though who are complaining. The head of a Catholic senior high school (SMU Katolik Cenderawasih), Sister Marthina Tongli, says the city administration should not be making rules about the matter. If her school is forced to comply she will file a complaint, she says.

The government should not interfere in schools too much.
(Pemerintah jangan terlalu jauh mengintervensi sekolah)

and she adds that governments should be more focused on increasing the quality of education.

Jonathan, a teacher of another Catholic school in the city, SMU Katolik Rajawali, says restricting female dress can stifle girls’ creativity.

If everything is regulated then where is the room for creativity? In the past the colour of students’ shoes until the way of dressing was regulated, shirts had to be tucked in, for example. Now there is more, skirts have to be long. Girls will get confused if there are too many rules.
(Kalau semuanya serba diatur celah untuk kreatifnya di mana. Dari dulu siswa diatur warna sepatu hingga cara berpakaian, baju harus dimasukkan ke dalam celana atau rok. Sekarang bertambah lagi. Rok harus panjang. Siswi juga bingung kalau terlalu banyak aturan.)

He adds that for him three cm’s beneath the knee is adequate for skirt length in terms of propriety.

But Hasanuddin, the principal of a state school, says many of his female students had been clamouring to wear ankle length skirts since a long time ago.

Before the edict went out many students came to me and asked to wear ankle length skirts. It was the students who asked for it. I’m sure the policy will be well received by girls.
(Sebelum surat edaran ini ada, banyak siswa yang datang pada saya malah meminta untuk memakai rok panjang hingga mata kaki. Sebenarnya siswi yang mengusulkan. Saya yakin kebijakan ini disambut baik oleh siswi.)

A number of girls interviewed by Detik, those attending state schools, also agreed with the policy. Irma, a second year student at SMU 17 Makassar, said:

It looks more respectable and it’s also not too different from a short skirt. If we wear a short skirt then we have to cover our legs with a bag when sitting down. But if in a long skirt there’s no need.
(Kelihatan lebih sopan dan juga tidak terlalu berbeda dengan rok pendek. Malah kalau pakai rok pendek, lebih banyak ribetnya. Kalau duduk, mesti nutupin celahnya pakai tas. Tapi kalau rok panjang kan tidak.)

Some of her friends agreed. Ira said boys bothered girls who wore short skirts.

Cicilia however, a Catholic school student, disagreed. She said it would be hard to concentrate in class because long skirts made you feel hotter. Her friend Mery Bandaso also doesn’t like the policy and says at/below the knee skirts are adequate.

Update 17th July

The long skirt saga goes on. Today was the first day of the implementation of the long skirt policy in Makassar and feelings were mixed, says Detik.

Linda, a first year student, said:

This is the first time I’ve worn a long skirt to school. It feels different but later I’ll get used to it.
(Ini pertama kalinya saya memakai rok panjang ke sekolah. Lain rasanya. Tapi nanti juga akan terbiasa.)

Nini, another student at a state school in the city, said:

It’s hard to walk, but if I want to go fast I can lift it up a bit.
(Susah jalan sih. Tapi kan kalau mau cepat-cepat, bisa diangkat sedikit.)

While all first year girls were required to wear ankle length skirts many second and third year students were to be seen still wearing knee length skirts. Nurul, a third year student, said:

We don’t have to, do we?. The head of the school didn’t forbid us second and third year girls from wearing short skirts.
(Kami kan tidak diharuskan. Kepala sekolah juga tidak melarang bagi kelas 2 dan kelas 3 untuk pakai rok pendek.)

The Catholic Cenderawasih school however appears to be bucking the fashion trend with first year girls not required to wear ankle length attire. The principal of the school, Marthina Tongli, is known to be disdainful of the new policy.

10 Comments on “Schoolgirl Skirt Length”

  1. Anonymous_aloy says:

    My wife, a Moslem, went to a Catholic high school and at first this post sounds like a throwback to that era when the headmistress, a nun, would do rounds carrying a ruler to see whose skirts are too short.

    The difference with the case of Makassar: that was a private school, and those who went there (Moslems included) knew what to expect. Those who did not agree can go find another school.

    Makassar, on the other hand, is not a privately-owned city. It’s not owned by Moslems or to be more exact, Islamists. So what the hell are they thinking with this law governing students in public and private schools alike. What if a student does not want to use a long skirt? Does she have to leave town?

    Tell me again why this is not a form of Balkanization (or How to Disintegrate Indonesia 101).

  2. ryan_dec says:

    what’s goin’ on macazzart?do U think can hide all hypocrite n’ immorality behind the uniform n’ fanatic won’t save U from hell n’ sin.disintegrated in front n’ please not to sacrifice lot of people just for the sake of fanatic religion.remember your town just a little piece of the nation n’we re nothing to the world n’ I think we’re dying now.nature give us a lesson.WHEN will U Realize

  3. R. Patterson says:

    How totally pathetic – because of some dirty minded men skirts to the ankles. Now if these dirty minded men could control their filthy thoughts skirts to the knee would be fine – but they would be Moslems eh? R. Patterson

  4. iting says:

    it needs more cloth to make such a skirt. and more money to spend.
    imagine if 1.000.000 student had to spend more Rp 10.000 each , in order to fulfilled the regulation:
    (it cost at least Rp 40.000-80.000 to make schoolgirl skirt, and more money to make “full lenght” skirt).
    have you ever tought how much money were spent, just for making student outfit in Indonesia? boys n girls? from junior to high school or even kindergarden? every year?
    and mostly student have more than one suit, oftenly two or three suit each student.
    why don’t they spent the money to buy a book
    or to pay the teacher properly.

  5. Andrew says:

    Definitely a lame & pathetic attempt to gain popularity…

  6. Jesse K says:

    read the article carefully people. The article said “The issue of skirt length appears to have aroused some controversy. Muhammad Asmin says the matter has nothing to do with Islam, long skirts are not Islamic dress”. so comments by anonymous_alloy, ryan_dec, and R.Patterson had no relevance with the topic in mind. iting, decency cannot be calculated by cash amounts.

  7. Henry says:

    Hey Jesse,
    Just because he doesn’t admit it is related to Islam, doesn’t
    me it unrelated. It is clear from the context that it is related
    to Islam, but it would be harder for Asmin to defend it from
    a religious point of view, since it is supposedly a secular
    country. Anybody in the country understand it is related
    to Islam.

  8. Jesse K says:

    i dont think so henry.
    in Islam, women must wear a veil, and clothes covering head to toe except the face and palm.

    now, a school girl’s skirt length that must be 3 cm’s below the knee, does not the very least suffice the Islamic dress code.

    I think you just suffered from Islamophobia that’s all. stop the prejudice. peace.

  9. Hassan says:

    well, it seems that everything related to decency is immediately associated with Islam these days. and everything related to porn, vulgarity, and indecent behaviour is also immediately associated with secularism. now, that’s a simple choice isn’t it, people. choose decency and restraint, or vulgarity and sexual freedom (in a negative sense).

  10. phil says:

    Hi Guys,

    why not just let people be people, live the way they wish and do the things they feel are right……
    I travel the world and enjoy to see people in their own countries doing their own thing… One thing though… when in Rome do as the Romans do. i.e. when you emigrate to one of my countries ( I hold triple nationality) leave your local ways at home.
    you can always believe in your Gods and other BS but if you choose to accept a better life in a better place live by the way the locals live…

    by the way… I arrived at this site via a search engine while looking for a school girl skirt for my 45 year old wife to wear to a sex party we are attending on new years eve for over 40 people who enjoy the perverted view of a Catholic school girl skirt. Note though we dress our wifes up in it for pure, harmless, sexual pleaseure and delight… I guess most of your Islamic boys wouldn’t understand that.. but what the hell, i dont understand why your pilots didnt learn to fly before they got behind the wheel of a couple of planes a few years ago…. it would have saved a lot of public outcry and trouble…

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