Co-education – Essay
Co- is a prefix that means together. Educate is a word that comes from educare. Educare means literally to draw out, but it tends to be used in the sense of to teach. Hence, co-education means teaching together.
Co-education (co-ed) refers to the integrated education system, where the education of both boys and girls are arranged in the same environment, mainly at schools, colleges and universities. Thus, co-education means that both genders of children are taught together in a school and class, rather than having separate schools or classes for girls and boys.
In earlier generations the education system encouraged separate schools for girls and boys when the education provided for girls and boys used to be quite different in terms of the subjects taught. Girls were taught subjects more relevant to their roles as home makers whereas boys were taught subjects directly related to trades and skills as bread earners. The need to separate the curriculum has gone down over the years leading to Co-education.
Co–education is one of the most common spectacles in the educational system of West. It is now been widely seen in India as well.
As a matter of historical fact, there was co-education in ancient India particularly in the Vedic Age, when woman had a very high status in the society. In modern times, it means teaching students of all genders together, at various levels, such as:
- At nursery school.
- At school.
- At university.
However, with the passage of time, the system of co-education began to be discouraged in India. During the British rule, however, co-education once again cropped up. Today, of course, co-education is encouraged in our country and number of co-educational institutions is increasing.
Types of co-education.
- In the home: boys and girls can be taught to read and write together by their parents.
- At nursery school: all students play and learn together.
- At primary school: boys and girls take the same classes.
- At university: university students of all genders learn together.
- On training courses or practical courses: no preference is given to one gender over another.
Advantages of Co-education
- It is a wholesome, all-inclusive way of growing up.
- Instances of gender bias get minimized as both the genders grow up at an equal footing and learn to respect each other.
- Girls and boys get equal opportunities.
- Boys and girls can have different perspectives on the same topics, so having a mixed class can help a healthy exchange of both types of opinions and ideas.
- Co-education helps cut down costs of running separate schools.
- In a family, sending all children to the same school becomes more convenient and often cost effective.
- Respect: when educated together, all students learn respect for each other from an early age.
- Best learning experience: co-education provides a great learning experience.
- Uniformity: Everyone gets to experience the same curriculum if they are all educated together. Every child gets the knowledge and wisdom to gain the best knowledge.
Disadvantages of Co-education
- It may not provide room for the different emotional adjustment mechanisms in girls and boys.
- Different teaching styles may be required for girls and boys on certain topics.
- There can be an excessive need to equate girls and boys instead of recognising their individual uniqueness.
- Since inherently boys and girls can have different preferences e.g. in colors, toys, literature, etc. internal groups can defeat the purpose of Co-education.
- Negative comparisons between the genders or individuals can lead to inferiority complexes.
Boys and girls, both, will have to put effort and energy, toil and knowledge to re-build the shattered social and economic order of our country and the nation. In today’s world, co-education is important for the wholesome growth of a child. However, it might often be necessary to have additional support from home to get the best results of raising a confident child in an equal opportunity environment.