Should Boys and Girls Attend the Same School?
A few years back, belief in unmixed school was strong. The advantages were said to be many. First, people said, this kept immorality at bay. Second, it was believed that students would be more content with what their parents gave them. Also, it was claimed, since boys never liked to feel low with girls around, and vice versa, discipline would be lax in mixed schools. Finally, it was claimed that the constant thought of the opposite sex never allows students to face their studies.
The great fear of disciples of the old system is that of immorality. Yet, when cases of immorality occur in purely girls school, one wonders who is to blame. For when boys and girls attend the same institution, working and playing together, they normally take one another for granted. On the contrary, barricades erected by the old system make boys continually nurse fanciful ideas about girls and vice versa. Thus, any rare opportunity of coming together is usually abused.
If students crave for expensive materials to impress the opposite sex, the fault is the wrong guidance. Indeed, the craze for costly things may be more rife in unmixed schools where the rare opportunity to impress the opposite sex is often seized with both hands. On the other hand, a boy who works and plays with other girls has no particular need to impress them with special clothes and shoes.
Indeed, such an urge to impress promotes a healthy academic rivalry between the two sides. Boys never like being bested in examination by girls. A boy would thus struggle to prove academically superior to girls. Conversely, girls like to prove that they can do whatever boys can.
If anyone claims that discipline is lax in mixed schools, one wonders why there are causes of juvenile delinquency in purely boys’ schools. Also, there have been cases of students flagrantly disobeying in girls’ schools. The fault therefore is not in any system but in the relationship maintained by the authority with students.
Finally, one must consider the limited public funds. Should we continue to build separate schools for the different sexes, there would be duplication and wastage. The cost of funding them would be baffling.
Therefore, co-education should now be welcomed as a system that has come to stay. It is then that a healthy social association can be cultivated, a healthy academic rivalry promoted, and public expenses minimized. And, with the right guidance, immorality cannot ensue, discipline will be maintained, and contentment promoted.