Last Updated on March 10, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
The system of education where both the males and females together acquire the knowledge through collaborative classes in schools and colleges is known as a co-education system or also mixed-educational system.
Before the 19th century, the system known as gender-isolated education was common around several teaching institutes, which is still dominant in some of the Muslim countries.
The Elementary Education Act 1870 directed Wales and England to set up universal primary education, where children (boys and girls) between 5 and 10 ages were mandatory to attend. Then, in 1880, the Act was lengthy, which continued the co-education system for all the primary schools of the United Kingdom as well as other countries till the present.
Mixed-education, implemented by most of the western countries, is now getting acknowledgement worldwide and is started to be embraced by virtually every country. Also, many countries are starting to abide by continuous and sustainable development can only be achieved with an improved system of education. This can only be welcomed when gender equality is practised right and even females get the opportunity of changing the world.
Regardless, many people still believe having the co-education system is somehow sinister, and having males and females educate under the same room in the same class brings several problems to society. Anyway, whatever may be the reason for your concern on the merits and demerits of having a coed school or college might just be solved by the approaching discussions.
A Brief History
Before any structured education system, people of early civilization were informally educated inside their houses. Even when people understood the importance of education, women were not given much right to be educated until a time in ancient Rome, when education was thought to be equally important for women as men.
But, the education system then was gender-isolated where males and females had separate classes. The Roman Catholic Church at the Council of Trent, in the 16th century, proposed the foundation of elementary schools available for all the children, which eventually lead to the creation of the concept of elementary education system irrespective of the gender.
With time, the concept gained popularity in the colonial New England, Scotland, and northern England, where dame schools taught both male and female together. Many of the public high schools also started following the co-education system since 1900.
The co-education system gained much high acceptance around the world just before the initiation of the 20th century when countries like Germany, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain approved the co-education system as a valid approach.
Pros of Co-Education
Following are some of the key benefits of studying in a co-education system:
1. Eliminates Discrimination
Misunderstanding or disrespect of the opposite gender is generally the cause for quarrels at workplace, home, or institutes, which can be lessened with the development of respect among the genders and mutual understanding.
This can be seen in the co-education system where the student understands as well as respect each other and thus limits discrimination simultaneously.
2. Grows Self-Esteem and Respect
Because of co-education, boys and girls learn to co-exist peacefully and to maintain and respect each other’s self-esteem. This helps them to build confidence and learn more about each other, which eventually aids them in understanding the importance of collaboration for success.
3. Develops Personality
As per a study, those exposed to the condition of operating in the presence of opposite gender like in the co-education system tend to be more civilized and decent. This helps children to set a foundation for building their character from a very young age.
4. Heightens Level of Confidence
The student with enough experience with the opposite gender from their early age is guaranteed to have a high level of confidence in their professional areas, where they are required to work together with their opposite gender and thus are likely to be more bold and confident than those who have no prior experience.
5. Maintains Disciplined Surrounding
When girls and boys are educated in the same institute, they tend to develop a disciplined character, which limits the use of bad language and misbehaviour inside the periphery of an institute. Throughout time, this limitation develops as a habit in those student leading them to a phosphorus life.
Cons of Co-Education
Co-education system if misused can result in the following demerits:
1. Allows Personal Involvement
Everyone knows how when two genders of a delicate age are educated together with the chance of them getting attracted to each other physically increases. Thus, many parents are unsure if they should send their children to coed schools or colleges since developing feelings for someone might distract them from their motive.
2. Promotes Immoral Deeds
Wherever two genders are educated together, there existed a tendency of increment in the immoral activities such as harassments, etc. by one gender to the other (especially to girls), which leads to depression, and many other psychological as well as physical complications.
3. Possibility of an Unhealthy Environment
As males and females are two separate categories, they mostly tend to have differences in their thoughts and belief, which leads to many discussions. Most of the discussions are solved then are there, whereas some delicate topics usually lead to an unwanted debate between two genders due to dissimilar beliefs.
Studying in such an environment can be unhealthy and most of the children’s studies are hampered due to such arguments.
4. Creates Distraction
Teenage being a life-changing phase comes with several physical as well as psychological changes, and children in the presence of the opposite gender tend to get attracted to them, which might result as a distraction in the process of paving one’s path.
The co-education system is a very advantageous system of education especially considering that it limits discrimination among genders and promotes gender equality. Nurtured in a coed society, student, as they grow, is seen to respect and appreciate the opposite gender which ensures the collaborative operation of both sexes towards the development of a country or community.
With that, we should also understand that every type of education system in the world comes with some demerits which should be addressed thoroughly to be able to counter those without changing the system. Today’s world needs women as much as men and for effective and smooth development each must collaboratively work out the differences and make the most of the knowledge and expertise others can offer.