In the present era, with the rise in technology and science, mankind has entered into a totally new age of research and analysis. More specific and narrowed down studies are emerging in both art and science, research and multi-dimension analytical approaches are heavily practiced and are playing a key role in determining the future of the world. In such a study oriented era, development of nations is highly dependent on the education. The curricula and system of education are the turning points for nations nowadays. These attributes decide the future of students and students, in turn, determine the rise or downfall of a nation or country. Education is an important factor in gauging the potential of a nation. Today women have equal weighting in population. Fifty percent of every nation’s student body are women and are contributing equally as men. So any education system, now, cannot achieve success without considering the importance of women. Their education is equally important as men for relative development and progress.
In Pakistan, a developing nation, these circumstances are nearly the same and equal opportunity for female students for higher studies are as essential as for any other nation. But there is an ongoing debate whether students perform better in single gender school or in co-education environment, to study in a gender diverse environment whether will benefit the students more or not. Higher education in the same gender institutions is the source of breaking gender stereotypes. Stereotypes such as women are not good at math, science is not a female subject, art is girlish, literature is not a manly thing, etc. are reduced to a much lower level in the same gender study environment.
According to an article by American Psychology Association ( Novotney 58), a study in 2003 at University of Virginia lead by Abigail Norfleet James says that boys which went to single sex educational institutions were twice likely to pursue subjects of art and literature as compared to boys from a co-ed background. Pakistan has deep rooted stereotypes for both men and women. In the history of Pakistan’s rich culture, specific things were constrained for men and specific for the women. These stereotypes are hindering students from pursuing a major of their desire due to the peer pressure and other social factors. A male student who finds interest in arts and a female student who likes Math both give up the subject of their interest due to the peer pressure and stereotype they face in a co-education and gender diversified institution.
Therefore the true ability of a student is misinterpreted and students end up messing their life up.In the meantime, in a same gender study environment, people are more likely to be aware of their strengths because there is no peer pressure from other genders and there is less gender discrimination as well. According to a web article (Novotney 58), there are certain opportunities in a single gender education that don’t even exist in co-education institutions. The same gender environment is thought to provoke and is helpful in realizing real strengths. For example in a math class in a co-ed environment, despite performing as well as boys in math courses, girls often doubt their ability to develop their math skills when faced with difficult material. (Dweck).
A proper independence to try the subjects and explore the hidden abilities is greatly affected by the co-ed environment because the discrimination by the opposite gender stops the students to take certain courses. A great peer pressure is always there. For example if a boy takes art subject in a gender diverse Institute although he is doing well stereotypical comments by the peers, in-class difficulties due to the presence of other gender creates a gap in his mind which in turn stops him to pursue the subject anymore and start taking courses which are more manly to his fellows and he ends up taking a major he is not good at.
Such circumstances in co education are the main reason why single sex education is more open and insightful in terms of strengths and confidence in oneself. Recognizing one’s strength builds confidence in oneself and increases self-esteem as well. To explore the real strengths of the student a gender diverse environment can be very devastating and non-helping for both institutions as well as the student. In addition to that, students in a co-education Institute show poor results in academics as compared to the single gender education. In a web, article students sowed better results in single sex education than in co-ed. Students were more focused on the studies rather than focusing on other things that are very common in coed.
In single sex education, there are no other gender affection issues. Emotional reliance and relationships issues are negligible in single sex education. Whereas in co education interaction between males and females led to more emotional involvement also which significantly dropped the grades of the students (Heneghan). Learning capabilities of the single sex education student were very high as compared to the other because they were free of any emotional disturbance and their main focus is on studies. whereas in co education students are more conscious about their appearance, subjects, and their reputation.
In contrary to that person who advocates the co education say that co education provides good inter personal skills and makes students ready for the professional life. They say that it boosts confidence in students and their performance in professional life is very improved. But what if a person is misguided to a wrong major which is not of his interest due to the stereotypical environment he had faced. If he is not good at his major than the professional life in no mean will gonna benefit him because he doesn’t have the passion and skill because he is misguided due to peer pressure work.
Novotney, Amy. “Co Ed vs Single Sex Ed.” American Psychology Association. N.p., Feb. 2011. Web. 19 Mar. 2017.
Heneghan, Carolyn. “Are Single-Sex Schools Better Than Co-Ed Schools?” Noodle. N.p., 24 Sept. 2014. Web. 19 Mar. 2017.
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