Schools, Education, Gender and much more…

I have this, the unconsciously creepy habit of eves dropping. At times, this is what seeds story ideas. Consequently, I overheard a conversation of three mothers. They were debating about the type of schools that they wished to get admission for their children who had completed their primary education. As per the conversation, since the children were stepping into the adolescent phase, they wanted to shift them from coeducation school to a single sex school. The single sex schooling will offer zero distractions for children and they would focus better on their education. I was amazingly startled by the point of view on the subject. Surprisingly, all the three, agreed with each other’s, old school of thought, that disciplined schooling could be achieved only in single sex schools.

I second those mothers completely, that schooling is very important part of a child’s life. Schools are the second home, imparting the foundational philosophies of life. Having said that, I absolutely disagree with the thought, that single sex schools are far better for an adolescent child, when compared to coeducation schools.

Living in the 21st century, it is astonishing to witness this scene. May be your child is shy and feels uncomfortable when surrounded by the opposite gender. May be, as a parent, you feel that child will not be distracted when admitted in a single sex school. These challenges exist within every child. Some overcome it unknowingly, and some struggle to do so. Nevertheless, is single sex schooling a perfect solution? How will the child face the challenges of the world, once stepped out of the school? You might enroll them in single sex college. What will happen after that? How will they face the opposite gender in a professional environment? How will they lead a life, with an unknown opposite gender?

At a time, where parents are confused among the plethora of choices of curriculum, such kind of thoughts demolishes the approach towards the holistic modern educational system. Single sex schools may offer your shy child, a very comfortable and conducive environment to expose their talents. Then again, this would be helpful only in the present scenario. The future is going to be far more challenging. What would they do then?

First of all, it is important to understand that just by sending your child to an all-girls or all-boys school doesn’t stop them from interacting with the opposite sex. You can minimize contact when your child is in school, but you cannot stop your children meeting others through tuitions, extra classes, and neighborhood or through friends. The reality is, the more you control, the more they wish to do so.

Coeducation schooling is far more conducive for the long run. Being able to communicate with the opposite sex, both in and out of the classroom, is crucial for nurturing the children for the professional world. Such schools offer the chance to develop the communication skills, fosters gender equality and provides a highly healthy competitive environment. Coed schools prepares the child for the highly challenging real world. Especially, it grooms the child to respect and understand the thought process of opposite sex. We must agree that the Indian education system does not impart the necessary life skills such as gender sensitivity, social interaction or effective communication skills. The gender bias outlook for the selection of a school, would only dilute the little life skills that they learn at the institution.

Personally, the thirteen years of coeducation schooling have always reflected in my personality. The happy and bitter experiences of schooling have constantly aided me in understanding the thought process of the opposite sex. It has nurtured me to face the challenges of the life, in a most courageous and constructive manner. After the four walls of the house, schools are the first gateway into the real world for any child. While it can never be as comfortable as its own house, it must definitely be a perfect learning space for the child to wrestle the battles of life.