A new war on hair and hemlines

7th September 2007 at 01:00
IT IS CHEERFUL to learn that politicians in Liberia, having achieved peace in 2003 after 14 years of civil war, are once more turning to relatively trivial matters. Now they are worried about pupils' appearance.

Joseph Korto, education minister, has announced a nationwide ban on students wearing weaves or hair extensions. "Things are rapidly going out of hand and we have to arrest the situation," he said.

"Girls wearing weaves and attachments pay more attention to their looks than to their lessons. They often slip out of the classrooms and go into the bathroom to look at themselves, missing lesson periods. This is not helping their learning process."

The education ministry has also introduced fines up to pound;500 for pupils wearing clothing deemed too provocative or indecent, such as low-slung trousers or skirts which expose underwear

"After 14 years of war, Liberia has to return to normality," Mr Korto said. "One way to do this is to instill discipline in students by ensuring not only that they learn, but that they appear before people properly."

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