By co-education we mean the participation of students of both the sexes in the learning process. Though co-education is common in foreign countries, it is not so in India. Segregation of the sexes has been in practise in India from very early times. Women were not entertained in certain fields. Certain misconceptions, prejudices and superstitions were against co-education. However, at present co-education is imparted in some educational institutions at the school and college levels.
Co-education has its own advantage in colleges. Since the college students have matured minds co-education will not in any way interfere with their learning efforts. They know their responsibilities. To them the opposite sex is not any more just an object of attraction. On the other hand it will provide them with better opportunities to understand life. Further, the presence of other sex always acts as an incentive. It creates in the students a healthy rivalry to surpass the other. We find women in almost all spheres. Co-education will go a long way to help the weaker sex gain self confidence.
India is a developing country with limited resources. So it cannot afford to have separate college and universities for men and women. As for the disadvantages, opposite sexes always have mutual attraction. The students are passing through a crucial period of their life. They are likely to be sexually attacted. It may affect their learning efforts. There may be one or two elements which would engage in eve teasing, and some acts of false bravado which they see in films. But anti-social and irresposible elements are present everywhere. Untoward incidents in co-educational institutions could be avoided with better administration.
Education of boys and girls in the same school or college is called co-education. Here boys and girls are taught together without any discrimination. In small villages where there is only one school or college co-education is the only choice. But some schools or colleges in cities offer co-education.
Co-education has many advantages. First of all co-education is economical. We need not have separate schools for boys and girls. Secondly boys and girls develop good understanding of each other. Little by little the girls overcome their shyness. They come forward to compete with boys in their studies, games, debates and other contests.
Co-education develops a halthy competition among boys and girls. Boys will not like to do badly before girls and vice versa. A healthy competition sets in and it brings out the best in each and every student. It has been found that boys like to behave decently before girls. So boys and girls develop good manners.
But some people feel that co-education is against our tradition. They say that the friendship at classroom may lead to unwanted compplications. Again, all boys may not of good nature. Some may tease the girls and cause disciplinary problems. But such instances are few and far betwen. Since the merits of co-education outweigh the demerits we must encourage co-education in schools and colleges.