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Gabriel Taapopi School
Gabriel Taapopi School

Gabriel Taapopi won’t tolerate dyed hair, ‘luxury’ shoes

Tuyeimo Haidula
The principal of Gabriel Taapopi Secondary School has issued a stern warning that learners will not be allowed to wear certain shoes and hairstyles.

Sakaria Eelu has banned Grasshopper shoes, panga haircuts, dyed hair and hair extensions from the Ongwediva school.

He repeated the directive to Namibian Sun yesterday during a brief interview after some parents raised complaints that their children were sent home for not wearing Toughees school shoes.

During a short engagement on school premises, learners confirmed that they have been informed not to wear “luxury” shoes, but rather what has been termed “standard” black school shoes.

The school has shared these dress-code rules with parents, who have been given a February deadline to make sure their children have the proper school attire.

“It will not be tolerated. If there is a parent who misunderstood the instructions, they can come back to the school for further teachings. We have given them a grace period to buy the correct shoes.

“We cannot have learners in a class wearing N$900 shoes and making the others feel inferior and behaving like a boss of the class,” he stressed.

Focus on school, not looks

According to Eelu, older learners are aware of the rules and should not defy them, while the parents of new admissions have been informed.

Learners should focus on academic and social excellence and not engage in counterproductive arguments with teachers about their looks, he said.

The principal added that learners have a tendency of misbehaving. Once they break one school rule, they start looking for the next one to break, he said.

He further attributed the school’s performance to their strict rules, saying learners focus on fighting failure when there is law and order.

Other rules for boys

In addition to wearing the correct shoes, for the 2023 academic year, boys are expected to keep their hair neatly combed, and are not allowed to colour it.

“Hair must be as short as possible (bald hairstyle is encouraged, of the same height the whole head, and that should be maintained throughout the academic year.

“Panga style and other stylings are not allowed,” the statement read in part.

The school further does not allow chains, necklaces, bangles, rings and earrings - only watches may be worn.

Plain Janes

Girls have been instructed to braid their hair in plain pushback styles or to wear it in a bun or ‘bolla’.

Short hair with no styling is acceptable, but dyed hair and hair extensions are not.

“Covering of hair with caps, scarves or clothes during school hours is not permitted.

“No nail polish is permitted and nails should be well trimmed. No make-up such as eyeliner, mascara, lipstick or colorful lip-gloss” is allowed.

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