Cyber Island kindly invites people to share pictures about school uniforms on the website. Participants are asked to provide basic information and description of the images they upload to the site. The system is open to submission until May 2, 2018. A number of pictures will be awarded with a certificate and a designer file-folder. There are six types of CC (Creative Commons) license available on Cyber Island. Participants are advised to choose a license type to label the picture(s) they upload as they need to consent to comply with the CC terms and conditions.
Cyber Island is a collective photo album of Taiwan. Its mission is to offer a space for co-creation welcoming images of Taiwan as Creative Commons. On this platform there are currently nearly 80,000 works coming from both professional and amateur photographers. The subject matter encompasses wildlife, cultural activities, everyday scene, and social issues.
School uniform was introduced to Taiwan by the Japanese along with the modernization of public education system. Today, when we think of school uniform, we have an image of boys in khaki suit and girls in white blouse and black skirts.
Here are a few dates that are essential to see how this colonial legacy of uniform has evolved through time:
In 1964 students attending middle schools and higher education should wear the uniform prescribed by the Ministry of Education. Seven years later pupils of primary schools were to wear uniforms determined by the state as well. The state prescription was not altered until 1984, when every school was permitted to design a uniform of their own.
This timeline is bound to miss out certain social-political process ensuing from the ending of the martial law, while it is fair to say that the military connotation of school uniform gradually becomes less pronounced as uniform is also associated with the subculture aesthetics influenced by Japanese manga and not every school maintains a control as rigorous as decades before over how uniform should be worn or mixed with the student's own outfit and accessories. However, it was not until in 2016 did the Ministry of Education finally stipulate that students can no longer be charged with offences against the uniform regulations. A college student today would probably be surprised that there was even a uniform to be worn for students of his or her age a few generations ago.
Opinions in Taiwan still vary with respect to the liberal tendency toward the country's uniform policy. Those who uphold the liberalization accuse requiring girls to wear a skirt of propagating gender stereotypes, and the authoritarian manner of keeping school uniform is thought to be detrimental to individual thinking and creativity.
No matter whether uniforms are to stay on with the new generation in whichever way, memories and stories about uniforms are what many of Taiwanese people have in common in retrospect.
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