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Parents junk ‘atavistic’ experiment, bring co-ed back to school

Segregation of girls and boys by making them sit in separate classes had begun in Jan, school to revert to co-ed from June

Written by Garima Rakesh Mishra | Pune | Published: March 28, 2015 5:11:19 am
Co-ed, Co-eduaction, co-ed system, Bishop’s School, Kalyaninagar, Avani Dambal, opposite sex, Frank Freese, Parents Teacher Association Committee, Indian news, Pune news, News Several parents, particularly those who have studied in co-ed schools were shocked at what they perceived was an ‘atavistic’ move.

A reputed school in the city has decided to junk its move to segregate boys and girls from class VI onwards. The experiment that began three months ago is over. The school has decided to revert to the co-ed system, which the majority of parents felt was needed for a healthy phase of growing-up years. Co-ed is back at Bishop’s School, Kalyaninagar, after parents gave it the thumbs up.

In January, Bishop’s School, Kalyaninagar, a co-education school, had announced that girls and boys would have separate classes from class VI onwards. Several parents, particularly those who have studied in co-ed schools were shocked at what they perceived was an ‘atavistic’ move.

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They argued that it contradicted the very nature of what a co-ed schools is supposed to be. January, February and March passed by and now the school is of the opinion that segregation would not be necessary. The “teenage problems” can be sorted out. In June when students return after their summer break, the co-ed system will be back in place. Parents have welcomed it.

Avani Dambal, one of the parents, said having attended a girls-only school, she knew how difficult it could be for the student of such a school to mingle with the opposite sex and interact without hesitation. Children have to learn to interact with the opposite sex and show proper respect to the opposite sex.

“The problem ( clumsiness in interacting with the opposite sex) persists even after they become adults. Besides, they become curious about the opposite sex when they study in an all-girls or all-boys school. My experience is the reason I admitted my daughter to this school. I am happy the school has changed its decision,” she adds.

Frank Freese, CEO and Honorary Secretary of the school stated that segregation of girls and boys was introduced on an experimental basis for disciplining students. “We noticed a lot of ‘indiscipline’ among students; they were not respecting each other, which wasn’t healthy.

When we separated them, we noticed that a number of girls students opened up and came forward to discuss problems. We realised that with proper counselling and guidance, we can address these problems even if girls and boys sit together in the same class. We want to channel their thinking in a positive manner and prepare them for the future,” he says, adding that the school wants students to grow up in a healthy environment and turn out to be confident individuals. Freese said the decision was taken in consultation with the Parents Teacher Association Committee. He said only 10 per cent members at the meeting was in favour of separate classrooms. The rest were all for co-education.

Parimala Veluvali, whose son will be be in class VI from the coming academic year, is happy. “The reason I admitted my son to this school was it was a co-ed school. I feel a lot of learning takes place in co-ed schools. I feel it’s important for a healthy and holistic development of the child,” she said. Veluvali is part of a group on What’s App whose members include over 25 mothers of students of Bishop’s school Kalyaninagar. She said all the 25 in the group welcomed the move.

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