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 with which Indian boys and girls suffer. Thirdly, it enlarges the scope of and 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 any unwanted emphasis by boys or girls on the sexual side of their relationship would give place to a sense of comradeship.
Those who oppose co-education have their own arguments. According to them, though the system leads to economy yet the benefits as such are ultimately false. Moreover giving the same type of education to both boys 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 generally 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. This argument has also not been able to prove right on the ground. Quite recently especially in the big cities of India, the conception of separate schools and colleges for boys and girls has almost vanished. It has been observed and to the satisfaction, of all that co-education is more healthy a process. Such schools and colleges are successfully bringing out educated youth fully confident on their talents without any inhibitions for each other. It has resulted into a healthy atmosphere in offices and other places of work. Men and women are seen rubbing shoulders with each other in all the fields of life and the wed is sown in the schools and colleges. The women are becoming more and more confident in their activities and enough bold to face any hardship. Gone are the days when the girls were such commodities which were kept wrapped behind curtains and not shown the light of the day.