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Wednesday, September 20, 2023

New National School Hair Code For Students In Trinidad & Tobago

According to school policies, pupils will be permitted to wear their hair in cornrows, afros, twists, locs, and plaits beginning in September 2023.

In the upcoming academic year, girls will also be permitted to use weaves and braids as hair extensions.

A number of guys graduating from Trinity College Moka were denied the opportunity to cross the stage with their fellow graduates in part because of their hairstyles, prompting stakeholder conversations about the issue.

The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) and the Denominational School Boards participated in discussions held on Thursday at the Ministry of Education’s invitation.

The National Parent Teacher Association (NPTA), Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA), and National Principals’ Associations were other education stakeholders.

The National School Code of Conduct should be updated to include a National Hair Code for Trinidad and Tobago, the Ministry confirmed, based on this engagement and the study done.

The National Hair Code is as follows:

1. Students shall maintain neat and clean hair at all times.

2. Hair that crosses shoulder length should be tied back at all times for safety reasons.

3. Locs, twists, plaits, afros, cornrows, shall be allowed for all students, in compliance with individual School Hair Rules.

4. Female students shall be allowed to wear hair extensions, including weaves and braids, in compliance with individual School Hair Rules.

5. Wigs and dyed or coloured hair for students are not allowed.

The Ministry noted that in this instance, approval may be granted to students to wear these in exceptional cases, as determined by the School Principal.

6. Hairstyles that obstruct the normal view of others are not allowed, except for religious reasons.

7. Eyebrow markings and eyelash extensions are not allowed.

8. Haircut parting designs should be simple. Intricate designs are not allowed.

9. Hair ornaments should be in compliance with individual School Hair Rules.

Each school must, however, set up a committee to decide on its hair policies by the end of October. Before the regulations are put into effect, a copy must be given to the line school supervisor.

Additionally, the National School Hair Code must be followed by each particular school’s hair policies.

These committees will include parents, staff, and student representatives, according to the ministry.

The management of the school has a responsibility to inform parents and children of the rules prior to their implementation.

The Ministry ruled that as long as a student’s hairstyle complies with the standards outlined in the national code, they should not be disciplined for it between September and October, before the specific School Hair Rules go into force.

Circular Memoranda shall be used to properly advise principals of the next steps regarding these codes.

According to the Ministry, it continues to work and interact with stakeholders in the educational system on improvements and updates to school operations and policies to boost the sector’s efficacy.

Additionally, it acknowledged that the educational environment is dynamic and that rules may occasionally need to be modified to reflect accepted shifts in cultural norms, attitudes, and beliefs.



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