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Co-ed Education vs. Single Sex Education: What is your choice?

  • IWB Post
  •  May 6, 2015


Single sex schools versus co-education – this has been a subject to debate for long. While some have a conservative bent of mind preferring for same sex schools, there are others increasingly opting for coeducation. Both the forms of education have their own pros and cons. Many of which are driven by stigmas and fears. Let’s get clear about what these forms of education can give your child.

Pros & Cons of Coed Schools

Co-Education means imparting education to boys and girls on the similar platform. The aim of co-education is to break the barriers and widen the perspective and horizons of the students, fostering free mixing of both the sexes without inhibitions.

In the ancient age Plato, influenced by the co-educational system of Sparta (Greece), had conceived the idea of co-education to promote companionship and harmony between boys and girls. Plato staunchly supported the education of women and wanted them to attain education with men in same institutions.

Pros of Co-ed Schools

Healthy competition: Co-education encourages healthy competition among boys and girls. It promotes the tendency to compete with the opposite sex in a healthy manner to emerge victorious. Co-education system is thus, an excellent way for promoting healthy rivalry.

Highly economical: Mixed school system enables in saving enough resources to be spent on educational budget. Here there is no need for building individual schools for boys and girls. Moreover, a good amount is saved to be invested in other necessary educational projects. It also enables the school system for managing of the teaching staff and other instructive goals with greater efficiency.

Builds confidence: Students of single sex schools seem to lack confidence to mix and associate with students of opposite sex. Co-education fosters good communication frequently. Studying, playing and working together aids in overcoming shyness and expressing ideas or opinions openly in front of the opposite sex.

Fosters gender equality: Co-education cultivates the concept of equality and offers the platform to remain at parity, developing respect for each other.

Prepares for real world experience: In the future students have to work and live in a mixed sex world. The coeducation training helps to prepare students to interact and function positively in future. Coed classes also expose them to diverse opinions, ideas, lifestyle, values and helps them to adapt with their opposite gender.

Cons of Co-ed Schools

Distraction: Co-education is said to cause distraction that hampers education. Girls and boys might be bothered by each other’s activities that cause disruptions and diversions.

Likelihood of intimation issues: Co-ed schools at times gives way to too much intimation which is a cause of great concern for parents. It also sometimes leads to harassment, transmitted diseases and other activities that cross the safe boundary lines. This form of education is hence condemned on moral grounds.

Pros & Cons of Single Sex Schools

Single sex education is the platform where education is imparted to a single gender i.e. either boys or girls. Here schools are dedicated to either boys or girls and lessons are taught without any distraction or pressure of the opposite sex. However, there are certain pros and cons of single sex schools:

Pros of Single Sex Schools

Learning differences: Boys and girls have different learning parameters. Each has different capabilities, and their brain development and functioning also differs. In such a situation coeducation does not function satisfactorily. Single sex schools help children to emphasize on a particular gender taking into consideration their skills and lacunas. Students get trained on a single parameter.

Comfort level: Some may be shy, others might be inexpressive or less confident in the presence of the other sex. Single sex schools help in overcoming the introvert nature and actively participate in varied sectors with self-assurance.

Reduced Distraction: Single sex classes offer the scope to learn without the distraction of the opposite sex. In the middle and high school students would be more concerned in studying and less focused on impressing the opposite sex.

Cons of Single Sex Schools

No challenge: There is no space for healthy competition between the two sexes, hence less opportunity for progress.

Gender stereotypes: Schools that separate boys and girls generally follow certain stereotype thoughts that are detrimental for personal and social growth. They do not get to learn about each other, and hence might remain biased about the other sex. Moreover, they also seem to shun each other’s company and also associate less with the opposite gender.

Difficulty in facing the real word: Later in life all students need to work in offices or in organizations where interaction between the two sexes is inevitable. They might also join clubs, social organizations, community organizations, religious groups. Remaining away from the other sex hinders their progress and deters them to work cooperatively on varied assignments and projects.

More and more schools are now opting for co-education because of its obvious reasons and the benefits of training they offer. However, still there are people who vote for single sex schools for varied security reasons.

JWB recommends that the selection should be made after thorough analysis of the educational pattern followed by institutions for favorable ambiance and apt training procedure and also on the preference of the students.

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