Co-education is one of the very important questions that have always disturbed our educational pundits. Co-education means that there should be no separate schools for boys and girls.
There are differing opinions on the subject of co-education. Supporters of this form of education give the examples of the western countries where this system was introduced years ago and has proved a success. They advance many theories to prove their point. Firstly, the system leads to economy. Secondly, it gives place to exchange of free ideas between boys and girls and removes inhibitions from which Indian boys and girls suffer. Thirdly, it enlarges the scope of enthusiasm for competition and gives better results. Besides, the presence of girls among boys in the same schools, colleges, and libraries will result in healthy thinking and unwanted emphasis by boys or girls on the sexual side or their relationship would give place to a sense of comradeship.
Those who oppose co-education have their own arguments. According to them, through the system leads to economy yet the benefits as such are ultimately false. Moreover giving the same type of education to both boyes and girls is equal to going against nature. Men and women are temperamentally different and education to be beneficial must in each case be so adjusted as to suit both men and women. Thus the very idea of co-education is wrong.
Now, if we weigh the arguments of both sides, we will find truth in both. In India co-education starts at the college level when free mixing between boys and girls is not possible because, at this grown up stage, they are very much sex conscious and shyness stands in their way. The result is that boys generally show in the presence of girls’ artificial manners which the latter dislike and fear. This drawback can be overcome if co-education starts right from the primary stage so that, by the time students enter college; their sole aim comes to be to concentrate on studies rather than on any unwanted interest in sex. Co-education in India in the present circumstance and mental make-up may do more harm than good.