Coeducation is to educate both boys and girls together. in the modern world of today,coeducation is the new order of the day. most of the countries in the world have adopted this form of education. in Pakistan too, there are some schools where there is coeducation whereas, in many institutes there is sex-segregation. coeducation finds its origin in Sparta,Greece. at that time,there was no distinction between boys and girls. they studied and played together. they were given academic education along with physical training.Plato,the great philosopher theorized that coeducation was essential for the development of personality. he believed that coeducation was the only way to make boys and girls beneficial to the society. therefore,west has acknowledged and adopted the benefits of coeducation since long ago. In the subcontinent, during ancient times,coeducation was present at a few places. but,gradually girls education begin to be ignored. the educational system of that time was quite different from that of today. boys were sent to gurukuls where they spent most of their educational period.
They were imparted physical and academic education. the former included warfare training while,the latter comprised of study of scriptures. in medieval india, women and people belonging to lower caste were forbidden from reading the scriptures. However,raja ramohan roy,the great social reformer revolted against this practice. his succesors also played a pivotal role in revolting against the illiterate practices. Islam has stressed upon the importance of education. infact, the first word revealed was “iqra” translated as” to read”. Islam has ordained both men and women to acquire education.
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Holy prophet P. B. U. H said “acquire education from cradle to grave”. similarly,islam also acknowledges that an illiterate and an educated man can never be equal. During the time of Holy Prophet(P. B. U. H),mosques were the only educational institutions. there are no instances recorded where holy prophet P. B. U. H forbade his wives from attending semon(khutba),the primary tool of education. Apart from this ,there are many examples which illustrate that muslim women accompanied there men to mosques and even inquired questions from Holy prophet in the presence of men.
Even today,many liberal muslims acknowledge that morality emanates from heart. Quran, time and again, has emphasized muslims to guard themselves against immorality. it says “say to the believing men to lower their gaze and to guard their private parts…. ”. many Islamic scholars acknowledge the fact that islam has not barred both the sexes from acquiring education together as long as morality is not infringed. Coeducation, in Pakistan has always remained a controversial issue. some people want this system to be adopted in all the institutions on the other hand, there is a sizeable portion of population that is opposed to it.
Both the schools of thought present argument supporting their stance. proponents of coeducation argue that it is the need of hour and that it has the ability to eliminate the problems of the developing country. nonetheless,the opponents dare to disagree. to them,the system does not confirms to the religious, social and cultural values of the society. Coeducation has the ability to cope with the problems of developing countries. for instance,Pakistan is a developing country. it will be difficult for a developing economy to maintain separate instituitions for both sexes.
if coeducation system is introduced in all the schools and colleges of the state, then the cost of separate infrastructure, stationary and recruitment personnel can be saved. A country can develop only by increasing the rate of literacy. unfortunately, for developing countries, there is a dearth of well trained teachers. if both girls and boys are taught together in the same class, at the same time then this issue can also be resolved. In coeducation, boys and girls get the opportunity to intermingle and to understand each other. by studying together, they will develop mutual respect and understanding.
Professor simon said “ the only reason to support coeducation is that without it, boys and girls will not be knowing about each other for many years”. In a coeducational instite, boys and girls interact with each other freely. they become broadminded and overcome their shyness. There is no hard and fast rule that if girls will always intereact with girls and boys with boys when they grow up . therefore coeducation will boost their confidence level, which will be beneficial in their future life. such individuals will be more comfortable interacting with opposite sex be it at professional or personal level.
Coeducation will provide both sexes an opportunity to learn to cooperate with each other. they will be working together in assignments and projects which will help them to understand the way opposite sex works. this will help them in their respective role taking when they enter practical lives. this cooperation will create a feeling a comradeship in both the sexes. Proponents of coeducation argue that such an educational system will be useful for their personality development. in a coeducation,boys will be free to intereact with girls.
Doing so, will help them to understand opposite sexing a better way and allow them to develop a healthy personality.. they will,then not indulge in eve teasing. the students of today will be the citizens of tomorrow. it is the demand of today,to allow individuals to grow in a free atmosphere. In addition, coeducation will allow both the sexes to treat each other on equal terms. girls will become more confident and responsive and the boys will develop more tolerance. the relationship between them will be based on equality,respect and humanity. this will help them to overcome the centuries old system of male dominance.
Researchers argue that coeducation has proved to be a better educational system as in such colleges,the results of exams are far better than in sex segregated schools. in coeducation, boys and girls compete with each other and try to remain ahead of the other one. this results in better academic results. A research conducted concluded that presence of girls in class prevents boys from indulging in unruly behavior. it also helps in fostering stronger bondage between teachers and students. generally, in coeducational classes, the number of violent outbursts are fewer. Presence of more than 55% girls in class room has shown better exam results.
Particularly, at primary level,coeducation has shown exceptional results. Boys and girls in presence of each other become more conscious of their habits, style and appearance. they abstain from exhibiting immoral behaviour. they try their best to please the opposite sex by showing best behaviour. these habits become a part of the personality. Women of today are entering every profession in large number. they are heading big organizations. They face similar challenges as boys while finding jobs or in professional life. therefore,it is imperative that they should be given education on similar grounds as boys.
Although,it is a fact that both boys and girls have different ways of learning,but still it is observed that their joint education has a positive influence overall. Infact, the supporters of coeducation speak of its benefits as if it’s the only road to heaven. Every coin has two sides. An impartial eye should focus on both the silvery sides rather than adopting a biased attitude. The opponents of coeducation believe that in coeducation, boys and girls are exposed to each other. the temptation of flirting appears more attractive than the urge to open books.
It also destroys the relationship between teacher and student as temptation cannot differentiate between teacher or student. People against coeducation state that it is not the panacea to the problems of developing countries,in reality it will sprout more problems. Anyone who has attended even a few schools and colleges in Pakistan knows the fact that they are frightfully overcrowded. even girls only institutes present a similar picture. therefore, new institutions are needed and if a few are reserved for girls and boys separately,it will not be an additional burden on the economy.
Perhaps, the greatest harm that coeducation can cause is to lead to moral depravity. in coeducation, boys are girls are free to interact with each other. curiousity plays its role well in this regard. the immoral standards promoted by media fill up the gap created from the germs of curiousity implanted by satan. this coupled with the fact, that the students are deprived of sincere supervision, as the teachers themselves do not present an ideal picture of morality and decency. As a result, they fall victim to sexual impurity. Religious conservatives argue that coeducation will wreak havoc to the Islamic values.
As boys and girls will be easily accessible to each other, this will promote development of immoral relations between them. they support their view by stating that during the time of Holy Prophet(P. B. U. H) educational instituitions were mosques where, though coeducation was present,but the chances of going astray were limited. they further emphasise that the present coeducational system are not at conformity with the Islamic approach to coeducational system. Supporters of coeducation believe that this system will promote understanding between both sexes.
However, the opponents say that if boys and girls cannot understand each other in family and home then they will not be able to do so in coeducation. why is it that a person thinks he can understand the opposite sex only when he meets his neighbour’s daughter? Further, it is believed that coeducation is a western concept. many people want to adopt coeducation because it is prevalent in west. they think that if west has it then they must have it too. They want to be more western than the west. but,they should bear it in mind that a system should be adopted only if it goes along with cultural,social and religious values of a society.
Certainly,our society does not accepts the present coeducational system. Antagonists of coeducation assert that it is an urban concept. boys will grow up to earn while girls will maintain their household. they emphasize that as both sexes will play a different role, there is no logic in teaching them similar curricula in a similar manner. Even teachers of some subjects such as biology hold opinion that it is easier to teach certain chapters more thoroughly in presence of only girls or boys in the class room. They find teaching certain topics embarrassing and difficult in coeducation.
Nowadays, sex education is becoming a part of the curricular. this further acts as fuel on fire. Certain educationists believe that students do not remain focused in studies in the presence of opposite sex. they remain more engaged in paying attention to opposite sex, than on lectures. Therefore,it is feared that coeducation will not raise the standard of education,instead will lower it. In coeducation institutions, boys and girls are more consumed by how they appear to the opposite sex. they spent countless hours contemplating what to wear, how to wear and where to wear.
This leads to the loss of precious time which should have been dedicated to studies only. The only solution that springs to mind in view of Islamic injunctions and logic of common sense is that there should be sex segregated institutions. however, if a developing country like Pakistan is not able to do so in current situation then it is the responsibility of government to take measures to ensure that coeducation does not attacks the moral values preached by islam. Firstly, the curricula chosen should be such that does not risks morality.
Secondly,government should be careful in choosing faculty. the teachers recruited should be an embodiment of decency and morality. meanwhile, the religiou conservatives should adopt an attitude of tolerance. Nonetheless,it is also important that some girl doctors should be educated in coeducation otherwise,our mothers and sisters will have compelled to expose their private parts before male doctors under ailment. but still,it is the responsibility of the government to ensure sex segregated educational instituitions whenever,it can bear the expenses.
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