Should You Send Your Kids to a Co-ed or Same Gender School?
Will you send your child to a co-ed school or a same-gender school? What are the co-ed school benefits? Find out the pros and cons before making an informed decision for your child.
As a parent, there’s a great amount of thought and stress you go through while picking a school for your child. We wonder if we should send our kids to the best public schools, private schools, international school, or stick to homeschooling. And when we decide, okay, let’s send our child to a public school, then we have to ask ourselves if we should send them to a mixed school (co-ed) or a same-gender school.
If you still cannot decide between co-ed school or same-gender school, we’re here to help you, listing out the benefits and disadvantages when selecting the best education system for our children.
Co-ed or same gender school? What does it mean?
Co-ed is a short term for co-education. It means that it is an all inclusive system which has both boys and girls learning together in an educational institution.
In this process, both the genders would benefit equally in learning and gaining knowledge from the school. This method of education is very common in Singapore – with only few same-gender schools in the country.
Co-ed school benefits
1. Emphasises gender equality
With boys and girls attending classes together and participating in class activities, they will be able to learn about equality between men and women. As opposed to same-gender schools, co-ed schools treat students equally. Thus, when assignments are given, there are no special treatments and students are graded and evaluated on their performance and not on gender.
2. Develops mutual respect
Being in a co-ed environment allows both the genders to mingle with each other and to know how to co-exist with respect. This process will develop a mutual understanding towards each other. It offers an environment that gives both genders the chance to express themselves and share their views. They will be able to explore each other’s perspectives and their differences.
3. Improves self esteem
Co-ed schools help lay the early foundation for maintaining dignity and self-esteem. It must be built in a positive way and a school is the best place to start. You get to face all types of personalities earlier on in life and learn how to deal with it. This system helps both the genders to respect each others’ self-esteem and develops confidence, helping them to step out in the open without feeling intimidated.
4. Prepares them for the future
Survival in the future can happen only when students are exposed to a normal environment in which society is composed of both men and women. From working together, to making a marriage successful, it’s all about teamwork and effort contributed by both partners. If they are taught to interact with both sexes in early life, they can use this skill in the real world.
Why a same-gender school might be better
1. Less distractions
One of the downsides of mixed schools is that students might not be able to concentrate in school as compared to a same-gender school. This is more obvious with teenagers because this is the age where attraction among students can happen. Emotional and psychological changes can affect their knowledge and focus.
2. Fewer academic obstacles
Studies have shown that girls are better at communication and language while boys are better at numbers. Problems may arise when it comes to performance of the students in one classroom in co-ed schools. Teachers have to find alternative ways to coach separately and yet be inclusive to all levels. Participation in class will not be balanced since one gender might be performing better than the other. This can also affect the atmosphere in the classroom.
3. Fewer early relationships
School is where students spend most of their time. They are constantly being around each other and learning together. One disadvantage of sending your child to a co-ed school is that this can lead to engaging in relationships at a very young age. If without proper parental guidance, it can lead to sexual activities and result in unwanted pregnancies or early marriages.
There are both pros and cons for any kind of education system. The school environment has such a great impact on their students so there is definitely greater work in mending the gap between the genders to create a more positive outcome.
My personal experience? Both my husband and I went to same-gender schools growing up. We did experience some sort of social ‘deficit’ while being in an environment of all girls or boys. I grew up very uncomfortable around boys (even though I have a brother) while my husband felt really awkward mixing around with the opposite sex. He admitted that he didn’t even speak to a girl until he was 17!
So which school would you send your child to? A co-ed or same-gender school?
Leaf image source from Facebook/MOE Singapore.