Co-education – Merits And Demerits – CSS Essay


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Co-education – Merits And Demerits

Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those that prepare for it todayMalcolm X

Co-education - Merits And Demerits

Women Universities As Agents Of Change

The basic purpose of education is not the invention and discoveries of new facts and having the knowledge of few things but instead it is a process through which social and moral principles are taught to pupils and they are made the responsible members of society with high social and moral values. To comprehend ideas and views to students more successfully, new methods and ways of teaching have been developed by the educators. Among these different methods of teaching and learning one is co-education, which, according to many observers, has both some advantages and disadvantages for the society. These merits and demerits of co-education have been discussed in detail in below paragraphs.

Before discussing the merits and demerits of co-education, it is necessary to understand the meaning, history and purpose of this type of learning system. Co-education, also sometimes called as mixed-sex or mix-gender education is that kind of learning system in which both males and females are educated together in the same place, under the same roof. This kind of educationalsystem is now widely in practice in many countries of the world.

Role Of Education in Character Building

Co-education has an extensive history. The idea of mixed-gender learning was first proposed by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, who believed that co-education creates the feelings of comradeship in pupils. He advocated teaching of both genders in the sameinstitutionwithout showing any discrimination in imparting knowledge to them. The system of mixed-sex learning was however, practically and formally adopted for the first time in 1802 in Scotland, United Kingdom. The name of the institution, where co-education was put formally in practice for the first time, was Dollar Academy, Scotland. However the first formal co-education college, in human history, was opened on 3rd December 1833, in Ohio, United States of America.

Higher Education is An Agent Of Change

It is a universal fact that every action of worldly life has both positive and negative impacts on our social, political and economic life. The supporters of co-education point-out a number of advantages of co-education, which have been discussed in detail in below paragraphs one-by-one.

The first and foremost important advantage that the supporters of co-education point-out is that it creates the feelings of respect and care among the students of opposite sex. Combined environment provides them an opportunity to share their different ideas, views and daily life experiences. It also teaches them respect and tolerance for difference in their opinions. According to supporters of co-education, this later advantage is of great importance in solving daily routines family problems, which arises mostly due to the lack of knowledge of how to deal with them.

Role Of Education in Economic Development

Another very important advantage of co-education is that it helps in removing the element of male dominance especially in societies where this concept is very common. Through-out the history, woman has always been remained victim of male superiority in every civilization of the world. This evil concept existed even today in many societies.The concepts of masculinity, feminity and male dominance are generally instilled in children by their families and these views are then forged by uni-gendered social gathering and activities.  According to the supporters of co-education, mixed environment provides students of opposite gender an opportunity to perform their learning activities together, which remove the element of hesitation and dominance from the mind of pupils.

Another advantage that the supporters of co-education point-out vigorously is the idea of women empowerment through mixed-gender education. Empowerment means moving from powerlessness state to a position of power. Education in general and mixed-gender learning in particular enables women to participateside-by-side of men in the development and evolution of their society. Co-education among women creates the ability of making decisions thus enables them to take decision in matters related to their lives. It also promotes the feeling of responsibility in women, not only being as a daughter, sister, wife and mother but also as a responsible member of the community. In short co-education among women creates the ability to express and share ideas and views in an environment of mixed-gender.

Reforms in Examination System

Another social evil that we face in matters related to women rights is gender based discrimination. In short terms gender based discrimination means discrimination based on a person’s gender. Co-education is considered to be very useful in solving this problem which is very common particularly in third world countries. The system of mixed-gender learning provides an environment in which both sex observe and admit their distinctive capabilities, thus leads to the obliteration of the concept of gender based discrimination. According to educators co-education encouragestolerance, opened mindness and healthy competition among competitors which at the end result in the acceptance of opposite sex at all level of social affairs by the men.

Co-education is also very useful in character building of the students. Generally it has been observed that the students of co-educational institutions behave in a much civilised manner in the presence of opposite gender. The reason for this is considered to be their long interaction with the students of opposite sex in their institutions.

Co-education if managed properly could lead to healthy competition among pupils which ultimately could result in the production of highly skilled professionals. The presence of opposite sex in class, each time refresh the spirit of competition among pupils and thus result in the production of think-tanks. Similarly co-education also teaches students the lesson of facing embarrassment in case of their failure and pushes them for seeking from it instead of turning it to a revengeful act.

Co-education is economically a very useful system of learning especially for third world countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and Nepal and so on. These countries always face shortage of fund, infrastructure and other required resources. With this system of education these problems can be easily tackled down as the available resources are utilised collectively by both genders.

This system of mixed-gender learning also helps in solving the problem of shortage of learned and trained teachers as the available staff can be easily used at the same time and place for both genders.

Despite of having so many advantages, co-education has also some disadvantages as well. These demerits of co-education are have been discussed in detail in below paragraphs.

One of the first objections that the non-supporters of mixed gender education, especially in Muslim world, raised is that this type of learning is against the principle of modesty of Islam. “Faith consists of more than sixty branches (parts). And Haya (modesty) is a part of Faith (Bukhari). According to the non-promoters of co-education, Islam is strongly against any such action that may bring males and females together in such a way that there are high chances that members of both genders fell into illicit feelings and relations with one-another. According to them the religion of Islam though has given greater importance to the seeking of knowledge but it has never encouraged mixed system of learning. As the system of mixed genders learning was not in practice in Arab at the time of Holy Prophet (PBUH), so no direct teachings can be found regarding this matter. However, Muslim scholars later-on on the basis of Islamic teachings about modesty condemn the system strongly and declared it as anti-Islamic. The practice of co-education spreads in Muslim countries during the period of their colonisation by the west.

According the non-supporters of co-education, mixed genders education at teen age could be very perilous as it is the stage of life where students choose path of their career. The presence of cross gender could lead to the attraction of pupils towards each other and students may fell in personal feelings involvement and may lead to the distraction of students from their basic goal which is learning of knowledge.

Another disadvantage of co-education is the involvement of students in unethical values. Attraction towards opposite gender is a universal fact, which leads students towards immoral practices and the basic purpose of education is left behind. Also other different social evil practices developed in students due to the decrease of the element of modesty at schools and colleges.

Mixed genders learning system is a western concept. Though the idea was given by Plato long ago but it was put into practice in nineteenth century. The supporters of co-education believed that by mixing students, it removes the element of hesitation and dominance of one gender over another. According to them it also promotes the concept of equality and tolerance for cross gender in students. According to critiques of co-education, the experiment of co-education supporters has failed in disaster as various surveys, done in United Kingdom and United States of America, shows that mixed-genders learning promote social-evils in students more than social-goods.

Another major criticism that the non-supporters of co-education raised is that for healthy competition and good academic system, is the presence of opposite gender in schools and colleges necessary? They argued that the system of learning can be improved by taking some steps other than practicing the system of mixed genders learning.

Pakistan inherited British styled education system after independence. Among many culturally contradicting practices in this system, one is the practice of co-education. Pakistan is an Islamic Republic country with Islam is the only major and official religion of the land. The teachings of Islam denounce any such practice that could lead to a social disaster. Due to this reason, a major portion of the population of the country is strongly against the system of mixed-genders learning system.

The system of co-education has both some advantages and disadvantages. For some people the advantages of mixed-sex learning system are more important than the disadvantages and vice-versa. Dual characteristics of every worldly action are a universal truth but if we managed our action carefully we can get positive results more than negatives. As far as Pakistan is considered, it is necessary that the government should managed this system according to the true demand of the people of the country.

    1. Kamran Haider November 24, 2019
      • Staff December 29, 2019

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