Co-ed schools

Photos and interviews by David Papannah and Dreylan Johnson

This week, the man and woman in the street share their thoughts on the co-education system and whether there is a need to return to separate  educational institutions for boys and girls.

Samantha Chunilall- `I don’t think we should go back because boys and girls see each other in society and are together. Having both males and females in classes allows you to bond and form friendships. You also get to learn from each other. Also I don’t think separating students would stop teachers from preying on them. Teachers, should know their boundaries and as a teacher you should not be preying on students’.

Jelecia Barnes- `No I do not think it is necessary for us to go back to those days. Students need to interact with both sexes. In that way they would have a better understanding of society. I do not know it might help to prevent teenagers from becoming sexually active but it would not change bad behaviour. Boys alone being in one school would be total trouble because they would create mischief’.

Major Catherine Brown –`Education should be co-ed because we are living in a co-ed world. Why separate the school children that when they come out of school they cannot function in a co-ed world after being separated from each other. There should be co-education schools. It opens up their minds more to see different point of views. We cannot only learn from our own sex if we don’t learn from young how to handle situations with different sexes how will they function efficiently’.

Karamchand Sugrim- `It is common all over the world seeing both boys and girls attending the same school and I think that it should continue to be that way, moulding our youths from a young age in being knowledgeable about life when growing up. Co-ed school prepares a child for life after school so it is imperative that males and females should attend the same school working and socializing together achieving certain goals.

Communicating skills is one important thing which helps a child to develop certain skills, habits and talents that are essential in their upbringing. Communicating among both genders is important as by that way boys and girls will grow up being brave and able to talk to anyone or a large crowd at a gathering rather than being shy and not wanting to socialize. If they were in separate schools girls and boys wouldn’t know how to approach each other and will be left with a shy personality. Socializing in school makes one understand each other better whether boy or girl for example or a group of students with boys and girls studying. If they were in separate schools less communicative skills would have been present.  Learning from each other is another reason why both sexes should attend the same school. Why? Because both genders are getting to hear, learn and see from different perspectives and even putting them into practice to make their lives better. They will learn different skills and ways of approaching problems without any hiccups and we all know that boys especially don’t want to be weak in front any girl when doing such while the girls are careful in everything that they do. Co-ed schools groom our youths from a young age to be responsible, generous and respectful to everyone and everything that is around them. Our boys and girls should attend the same school.   My final reason on this is when our youths are grown up they will become responsible adults and can make good decisions they can move on with marriages after finding the perfect soulmate in the future.’

Dennis Green –`From my experience, I went to an all boys’ school and it was not bad but in my days people had respect for each other and I don’t think they have that today. Men today don’t have respect for women, I don t know why. In our time even though we were in separate schools we had respect for women. We would always address them as Madam and Miss Lady. Classes that teach respect and moral behaviour is what I think is needed in our school today. With the cell phones today there is no excitement to see your friends when school reopens because you can call your friends and meet up anywhere. Apart from all of that I think you have to put the children together but tell them what is expected of them, how they should respect each other’.

Joel Semple- `Children should be exposed to co-ed education because it can help them to be more successful in society. Also, when they mix among the sexes they would be able to adapt more easily to the working world. When you separate them it might make them feel like if they are in jail. I am against any separation of the children’.

Rehana Hanif – `I personally think boys and girls should be in the same school, it provides the opportunity for the two genders to better understand and build respect for each other.  It can also build and facilitate better gender equality in today’s society. Having an all-boys school or an all-girls school is not necessarily a bad thing, but how will they get to know about the other gender. How will they learn to appreciate and mix with the other gender? Especially in what’s going on around the world today, we need to do our best to promote gender equality in all aspects of life’.

Gerene Bennett – `Co-education should still exist because males and females are able to interact with each other and building an understanding. While co-education helps with socializing, those in charge need to put better measure in place to deal misdemeanours. Discipline should be key”.

Deyomini Ramlochan: `Both boys and girls should attend the same school. Going to the same school would benefit students way more than keeping them in separate schools. Students would probably get better results in single sex classes among people having similar learning styles. But the focus must be on the overall development of a student. In the real world, one does not compete only with candidates of their own sex but with both. Hence, they must be kept in the same class so that they are able to work on their skills to match up to the level of the other sex. In this way, they would simultaneously excel in all fields. Students are also better at socializing with and understanding the people irrespective of their gender. By attending the same school, students can learn how to view the opposite gender in classes as a friend or a classmate. In addition, a boy would know how to speak with a girl in every situation and the other way around. They would know how to ask her to cooperate with his study, how to communicate with girls in a group, etc. Having boys and girls attending in the same school would be beneficial for both sexes as it increases their motivation to study better. Boys and girls will try to show their capabilities and abilities in the class, therefore they will study increasingly. Indeed, boys do not like to seem weak in front of girls and vice versa. As a result, the productivity of the class will be increased. They would also be able to know the opposite gender, which help them to be prepared for the adult life where they will live or work together’.

Veshal Sundat- `I think boys and girls should have separate schools, it would provide them with the opportunity to better get to understand their respective gender. Also it may help them to focus more on their education, since you could say they won’t be distracted by the opposite gender. Also this is a way to avoid them from having relationships with the opposite gender at an early age. It basically gives them more time to grow into their own person, especially in today’s day and age when young children mature at an early age. It is a scary thought and having them in separate schools would eliminate so much things that you would have to deal with if they were in a co-ed school. Also with the impact of peer pressure and the perceived need to conform to popular opinion and thinking, including the desire to be accepted, by the opposite gender, in this instance separate schools would come into play. Also in a single sex school students would learn to ignore gender stereotypes and develop their personality’.

Uditnarine Sugrim- `My immediate answer is no!! They are many different qualities that a boy possesses from a girl and I believe when boys and girls work together and share their view points, more effective and efficient results are produced. Most boys in society are attracted to the masculine form of activities. Likewise girls are attracted to the feminine. But in today’s society you can find that boys are now becoming top chefs of the world, world famous designers of clothing and architects in jewellery. On the other hand, girls are also now moving toward aspects of society that were managed by men, for example; becoming mechanical engineers, fire-fighters/police and even construction workers. I guess my point here is just reminiscing on how times have changed, roles that were dominated by males are now being played by females and vice versa… Thus skills are exchanged when they interact with each other…..which now brings me to my next point, communication. Girls and boys can communicate, in schools, by way of studying. Studying together would have both genders interacting with each other. Whether if it’s by asking a question or providing an answer. Another important aspect in communication is that they can learn how to treat each other. Some elderly people would say, ”the way you treat a girl is the way you’re going to treat your wife.” This statement is deemed to be true since many males who only have boy-to-boy interactions are likely to be abusive to girls and women. Without the girl-to-boy/boy-to-girl communication in schools, boys won’t know how to treat girls and girls won’t know how to treat boys. Through commuting, both genders would understand each other and as such know how to treat each other. To have a better society and a bright future, I feel that it is best to have boys and girls attending the same school-for reasons that I mentioned and more. This will cause our society to become a better place. Our future will be bright and from this, gender equality will be achieved.

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