Co-education This is a system of education where boys and girls study together. Indian society is a conservative society to a large extent and co-education helps break this conservative attitude to some extent. In a country that still boasts of the purdah system, prevalent in rural India, co-education helps boys and girls break popular misconceptions existing between both since time immemorial.
Co-education encourages familiarity between boys and girls and them to start breaking misconceptions about each other. Their general outlook changes and they develop a healthy, normal relationship with more mature personalities. There is no discrimination based on sex. It has often been seen that students who come from a co-educational background are better communicators than students who study in same-sex institutions. This also helps students in their later life when they become professionals and interact with the opposite sex. As these boys and girls lose their shyness, they develop a broader outlook and are devoid of a narrow mentality.
It is essential to have more co-educational institutions to nurture good, normal, healthy citizens, who in turn can help remove social evils like dowry through joint efforts. Co-education can also reduce eve teasing, ragging, rape and other crimes against women. It also instills a sense of competition, as both genders try to outperform each other in studies, games and extra-curricular activities. With more understanding, a mutual respect is developed and the mind is free from unsavory thoughts. Maturity comes at an early age and goes a long way in developing well-rounded personalities in both sexes.
But have we been successful in having a proper co-educational system? The answer is: NO. Most boys and girls join co-educational institutions for all the wrong reasons, such as having affairs with members of the opposite sex. For first-timers to co-educational institutions, it comes as a culture shock and they soon get carried away. Studies take a backseat while students frequent restaurants and theatres. Both sexes waste time and money on frivolous activities that affect their academics. Today in most urban cities, joining a computer or management course is more of a platform to have friends rather than study.
What needs to be done immediately is to introduce co-education right from primary school. At this stage itself, teachers should take precautions in ensuring a proper balance between education and moral values. In this regard, a great responsibility rests with the teachers, who can ultimately guide, influence, and motivate students towards the right path and prevent them from going overboard.