ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF CO-EDUCATION
Co-education means the teaching of both boys and girls in the same educational institution under the same roof. It also means imparting the same education to both the sexes without any distinction. This system aims at bringing boys and girls together. It allows free mixing of sexes without any inhibition.
The great Greek philosopher Plato had propagated the system in ancient times. He believed that co-education would create a feeling of comradeship between boys and girls. He also felt that if boys and girls taught together, it would develop their personality to the maximum. He advocated that it was the only method by which boys and girls could become useful member of the society. In ancient India, co-education was widely practiced. This system prevails in Europe and U.S.A. in India, more and more co-educational institutions are being established today.
Co-educational system has many advantages to its credit. The chief argument in favour of co-education is economy. It would be foolish to have two educational institutions at a place where only one will do. India is a poor country and it cannot afford to open separate schools everywhere for boys and girls. The second argument is that co-education promotes better understanding between men and women. After all, they have to co-exist in life. The girls will not feel shy in the presence of the boys. The boys will also not tease the girls. Thirdly, co-education will create a healthy competition among them. This will help them to work hard and pay serious attention to their studies. A feeling comradeship will also be developed. Thus they will have a balanced development of their personality. Boys will learn to behave decently in the company of girls. They will dress properly and talk decently. If taught together, they could no longer consider girls as strange creatures. Co-education will provide discipline schools and colleges.
Of course, some people have pointed out certain disadvantage of the system of co-education. According to them, this system is against our tradition. In their opinion, co-education lowers tone of discipline. It brings about shift in the mental make-up of the students. Learning is pushed to the background and sex attraction reign supreme. It will develop immoral relationships between boys and girls. Co-education promotes loves of fashion and extravagance. But these arguments do not hold today.
Co-education is a system of educating boys and girls together.
Co-education has always been a debate topic between the elder masses in some countries. In ancient times, co-education was prevalent in Greece only. Today, this system of education is present, and typically the norm, in almost all the countries of the world. It is economical and also generates a spirit of comradeship between boys and girls.
But what actual role does co-education play in the lives of the students?
• Co-educational schools better reflect the diversity of our society and they better prepare students to succeed in post-Secondary education and to eventually enter the workforce. This is an essential factor in career aspect.
• In a co-educational learning environment, students are exposed to both male and female role models in staff and senior students. Also, most students in co-educational schools find it easy to find a group that they fit in with.
• Research shows students in co-educational schools grow to be confident expressing their views in the presence of members of the opposite sex because collaboration between the sexes in the classroom helps develop confidence in students and they excel at university and beyond as leaders.
• Students at the independent co-educational schools feel comfortable about who they are and have a healthy, positive attitude and self-image because they are more likely to feel safe in their school environment.
• Working together in the classroom and on homework assignments provides boys and girls the opportunity to learn from each other intellectually, as well as socially. However, some gender differences in learning do exist, but instructors are skilled in catering for diverse learning needs in the classroom.
• For both girls and boys, co-education provides a more realistic way of training young people to take their places naturally in the wider community of men and women.
• Co-education helps to break down the misconceptions of each sex about the other and provides an excellent foundation for the development of realistic, meaningful and lasting relationships in later life.
• I studied in a co-educational school. And I must admit, it is also very successful in challenging sexist attitudes. Many subjects in secondary school allow for considerable classroom discussions and debates. In our school, both the female and male perspectives were explored in such discussions and this was a very important learning experience for all. In doing so, we learned that 'equality' does not mean 'sameness' and that men and women often have different perspectives on the same issues and that each approach has a great deal to offer the other.
Diversity will play a large roll in the future of our students,; educational institutions should promote co-education and the progression of diversity and inclusion throughout lesson plans.
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