Coeducation; Merits, and Demerits

Coeducation; Merits, and Demerits

The word education is, perhaps, as old as the history of mankind. Since the start of life on planet Earth, the mankind is getting education through several resources.

Education is the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.

Education can be provided in two different ways; mixed-sex education, also known coeducation, and single-sex education. The later was more common up to the 19th century, coeducation has since become standard in many cultures, particularly in Western countries.


Coeducation means imparting education without gender based discrimination; providing education to both girls and boys together. Coeducation has now become a trend. It’s said that coeducation was first introduced in Switzerland; later on it spread to other countries as well.

Both the systems of education have some merits, and demerits. None of them denies the importance of education. On one hand, coeducation develops a sense of comradship, healthy competition, and resource management while on the other hand, it can result in obscenity, distraction from studies, early relationships, and infatuation among the students.

Logically speaking, in a society where men and women have to live, and work together in a close coordination with one another; it’s very unlikely to do away with the communication between the different genders be it in the field of education, business, culture, and others.

The system of coeducation surely has flaws but the system can help if it is well managed and timely measures are taken into account for reaping the maximum benefits from it.

For a detailed insight regarding the merits, and demerits of coeducation, we first need to have a cursory look at the meaning, and types of education. If one goes with the Einstein’s definition of education then education does mean training of minds to think.

Einstein said that the education is what that remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. In general, there are three types of education; formal, informal, and non-formal education.

The formal education is classroom-based, and provided by trained teachers. Informal education is obtained from surrounding.

The formal education is being taught in educational institutions like schools, colleges, universities etc.

The informal education is the education through other means like watching television, theater, newspaper etc. The only leftover category of education is non-formal education for which no proper forums are mandatory. It can include both formal and informal means of education. The sole purpose of all three types of education is to build a changed behavior.

Merits of Coeducation

As far as merits of coeducation are concerned, there are several benefits of coeducation that substantiate its importance, and significance.

The very first merit of coeducation is its cost-effectiveness. More money and resources are required for separate educational institutions, instruments, teaching staff for gender specific schools, colleges, universities as well as vocational training institutes. This is not the case for coeducation. Coeducation involves relatively less fiscal resources.

The second merit of coeducation is that it promotes a sense of equality among the male ,and female students. It awakens the spirit of equality and comradeship among all students without any discrimination. Male, and female students in a coeducation institution acquire same education. They study without being gender specific. Same teachers educate them, and train them to become a better human being. For instance, in a medical college where students study in the system of coeducation, both male and female students do same sort of experiments, both enjoy equal grading and evaluation systems.

Another merit of coeducation is that it helps both the genders to respect each other’s self-esteem and build confidence in them. Coeducation allow the students to understand the issues of opposite gender, and enables one to be more understanding towards the other students. It is said that boys’ boorishness is tamed by the civilising influence of the girls, and girls’ cattiness is tamed by the more relaxed approach of the boys.

Co-educational is also considered successful in challenging sexist attitudes. Many subjects in secondary and higher secondary institutions allow for considerable classroom discussions. In a co-educational school both the female and male perspectives will be explored in such discussions and this is a very important learning experience for all. In so doing they learn that men and women often have different perspectives on the same issues. Coeducation discourages the gender bias among the generations of the society.

It also helps young boys and girls socialize with each other increasing the confidence level of the girls and boys. It entails healthy competition that emerges as a result of studying together, and is also helpful in making them prepared to face the practical world when they grow up.

Demerits of Coeducation

Apart from merits, the coeducation does have many demerits associated with it. The coeducation is often linked with the obscenity. Coeducation is often linked to sexual harassment and molestation. There have been several cases regarding harassment in the mixed schooling systems. This is harmful to the culture and the values of a society.

One of the more severe disadvantages of co-education is the increased probably of sexual harassment and molestation. There have been many reports regarding the sexual assault or harassment in the mixed schooling systems.

Another demerit of coeducation is the lack of concentration. It is more common disadvantage in a co-education system. It is natural to be attracted emotionally towards the opposite gender in coeducation system. This can be detrimental to one’s education and advancement. Students get indulge in infatuation. The teenage crushes are quite common to be observed in the co-education system.

Coeducation offends the people in some societies as it is thought to be against their traditions and cultures. Therefore, it often creates a rift in a society. This, perhaps, is the reason why many people in third world countries often restrain their daughters to go to school.


In short, coeducation is a system which has some benefits as well as flaws associated with it. It has its due importance.

Strict discipline in educational institutions, gender equality, and responsible attitude of faculty can greatly remove the hurdles in the way of coeducation. It is the coeducation that can remove the patriarchy from the societies once and for all.

The system of coeducation is not bad if management and monitored attentively and wisely. Coeducation must be taken as an opportunity to cut the financial expenditures. One must stop treating it like a menace because the man and woman are two strong pillars of any society; if they can work together then they can study together as well. Coeducation enable children to develop vital life skills which support their social, emotional and mental growth.

You can also Read: Classrooms Decide The Future Of The Nation

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