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Do girls thrive in co-ed or single sex schools?

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DEBATABLE ISSUE: While a few teachers agree that girls fare well in a single sex school, a few others differ saying that it depends on the individual student’s performance be it in a co-ed or an all-girls school.
DEBATABLE ISSUE: While a few teachers agree that girls fare well in a single sex school, a few others differ saying that it depends on the individual student’s performance be it in a co-ed or an all-girls school.

A study conducted on behalf of the Good Schools Guide in the UK states that girls fare better in unisex schools compared to their counterparts in single sex schools. D.V.L. PADMA PRIYA talks to a few teachers on the issue

Do girls get distracted in co-education schools? Does it affect their academic performance? According to a study conducted on behalf of the Good Schools Guide in the UK, girls fared better in unisex schools compared to their counterparts in single sex schools.

The results may not apply to other countries given the cultural differences and geographical differences but the basic issue of girls faring better in unisex schools remains open for debate. The response from a few city-based teachers has been quite mixed. While some say that students studying in girls schools are less prone to ‘distraction’, others feel that the competition is higher in a co-ed school and so is the learning.

A. Sujatha, a mathematics teacher at a leading city school feels that an all-girls school has a better learning atmosphere compared to a co-ed school. In the teaching profession for over 10 years, Ms. Sujatha completed her education from unisex institutions and feels that the comfort level is much higher.

“The disturbances are lesser in an all-girls school and so are the distractions,” she says adding that the concentration levels and competition too is higher in an all-girls school.

However, she does feel that it depends on the individual student. “Some girls are work-minded and even if they do mingle with boys, they don’t get carried away. Also the exposure to media and upbringing also plays a vital role here,” she says.

Advantages

There are others like L. Asha Chary, a Social Studies teacher, who disagrees with the study. “There is an exchange of ideas and intelligence in a co-education school as girls and boys think differently on different planes. Also, the girls who study in a co-ed school are free on an emotional level and don’t freeze when boys come over to speak to them,” she says.

Uma Joseph, a lecturer at a leading women’s college feels that the study could be right. “There is room for less distraction. They are more confident and don’t hesitate to ask questions which they might not if boys were around,” she says. But others like B. Jyothi Aparna, Principal of a well known school, feel that students from an all-girls school are more fascinated by the opposite sex than those from a co-ed school.

“A co-ed school is any day better as they will know how to move with each other. Also performance wise, the competition is very high in a co-ed school than in single sex schools,” she feels.

Difficult comparison

And then there are others who feel that it is difficult to compare the two groups of girls.

“I wouldn’t be able to say that those from an all-girls school fare better than their counterparts in a co-ed school. Performance in school or college really depends on their personal application and it doesn’t really matter whether they are in a co-ed or in a single sex school,” says Seema Victor, a lecturer of a reputed junior college for girls.

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