Suchitra Surve

Director – Growth Centre India Private Limited

Co-education or Single Gender Education system

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The choice of school is an important decision that today’s parents have to make. Earlier it was easy, considering the limited options one had. But today the type of school [residential/ day schools], the board systems that a school follows [SSC/CBSE/ICSE/IB], the fees, the vicinity from residence and the facilities also play an important role. Along with these parameters, one more important factor is considered, though may not be very obviously important for many – co-education or single gender school system.

Let’s try and see why single gender school systems could have emerged. In the olden times, not many girls were sent to school, so by default many schools were boys’ school. As time passed by, and girls education gained importance, many conventional parents, preferred an all girls school for their daughters. Keeping in mind the changes the world over, the new era saw the rise of co-educational schools. These schools imparted education to boys and girls together.

Then a question is asked, which system is better – co-ed or single gender system? Like every aspect of life each system has its pros and cons. It is then left to the individual to decide the best option which s/he thinks can handle.

Single Gender Education System:

  • The proponents of Single Gender education argue that boys and girls have differing needs and that their styles of learning are different.
  • Whether it is girls or boys, they learn to handle the interactions with those of the same gender with ease.
  • The comfort levels are very high in the same group.
  • This ensures an increase in the confidence level.
  • Provide parents with an opportunity to manage more effectively the social development of their children, particularly in the early years.
  • The specific needs of boys and girls met in a single gender education system
  • Gender sensitivity is lesser and there could be difficulty in adjusting in a social setting.
  • British studies suggest that females more than males benefit academically from Single Gender education.
  • Single Gender schooling allows boys and girls to mature at their own pace
  • Single Gender education hides from the inequalities of society and over protects females.
  • The Single Gender class does not provide an opportunity to create an environment where one can learn to work efficiently and effectively with males /females.

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According to Professors Myra and David Sadker, American University “When girls go to single-sex schools, they stop being the audience and all become the players.”

Co-educational System:

  • It is seen that boys and girls receiving education together is favorable to all.
  • Young adults must be conditioned to deal with distractions at an early age so that when they encounter them later in life, they are able to effectively deal with them.
  • Coeducation confronts these inequalities allowing females to effectively battle and overcome them by learning to deal with being self-conscious.
  • Males and females can learn from each other by pooling their talents. For example, girls and boys tend to play different games.
  • Coeducation facilitates a microcosm of the real world where valuable social skills can be taught.
  • In co-ed schools, day after day, boys and girls really get to know, understand and learn how to cope with each other.
  • The economic benefits gained from joint classes and the need to secure equality for women in industrial, professional, and political activities have influenced the spread of coeducation.
  • A spirit of co-operation and competition thrives in the co-educational system.
    In order to strike a balance in the interactions, co-ed is a must [it is observed that students from a single gender system are either too shy to talk to the opposite gender or try to unnaturally to o intimate].
  • Allows girls the opportunity to enter the formerly accepted “non-female” professions
    Coed schools that helps in acquiring socialization skills that will help in further schooling and an eventual job in the work force.

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To ensure a positive image and better coping skills, one has to vigilantly managing the culture in a school and sub-groups in the school.One must always bear in mind that boys and girls experience the benefits of schooling in different ways. There are no differences in what girls and boys can learn, but here are big differences in the best way to teach them.The choice of co-educational system or single gender schools may also depend the conventional thinking or may be under societal / community influence, it is entire the responsibility of the student and the parent to ensure to make the optimum use of the opportunity received.

In today’s world of equality and competition, the issue of co-ed and single gender should not bother as much as how well-equipped are the children going to be to face the challenges ahead.

Updated: March 22, 2016 — 5:14 pm
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