What would I change about education?

By Ejder Raif. Ejder lives in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

The one thing I would change about education is to abolish all single gender schools and only authorize mixed schools to enable both male and female students to work together within the same setting. This would prepare them for future employment, as they will be working with both male and female members of staff. Students who attend mixed schools will become familiar with interacting with the opposite gender, which would boost their confidence and develop good social skills. Consequently, this would eliminate the complications of forming relationships throughout their lives.

Furthermore, it is crucial to appreciate that both male and female students learn differently. Thus, this knowledge and experience is a necessity to prepare students for further education and the real world. Students who enter further education from single gender schools can face difficulties in collaborating with the opposite gender on group projects. While cooperating with colleagues, they may fail to demonstrate good communication skills, which can lead to the delivery of a poor performance. It is vital for students to acquire these particular skills in education, which employers value within the workplace. Good communication skills are one of the main skills that employers seek when recruiting new staff, in addition to a high level of confidence.

Moreover, students from single gender schools will be diffident and have trouble developing social skills. As with communication skills, students should possess the ability to form friendships with others since one of the most important aspects of being a student is to make friends.

In order to resolve the above problems, it would be advantageous for the authorities to convert all existing single gender schools to mixed schools. This is to ensure that students confidently enter further education or employment (if they choose to seek employment at 16 years old on successful completion of their secondary education), having previously been acquainted with the opposite gender.

As stated by Gender and Education Association, ‘mixed schools are essential so that girls and boys can learn to live and work together. Schools should reflect real life (presumably out-of-school life), and as society is mixed, schools should be mixed.’ [1]

However, this subsequently raises the issue of 13-14 year old students in mixed schools not focusing on their studies and becoming excessively involved with each other. This could result in intimacies and affect their schoolwork, which could lessen their chances of achieving good grades, hence, jeopardising their education.

To prevent these matters from arising, it would be appropriate for all mixed schools to introduce strict regulations to their students. Once they have established these protocols, they should make their students fully aware of the strongest punishments they will receive in the event that any violation of these rules occurs.

Irrespective of the benefits discussed, these do present some drawbacks with a number of parents opposed. This is due to their concern that their children will face distractions from the opposite gender in mixed environments as elucidated previously. Other reasons for the existence of single gender schools include religious/cultural beliefs that children should be educated in a single gender setting, to excel in their lessons and receive better exam results. [2], [3]

Throughout my school years, I was educated at a boy’s school; therefore, I have a wide experience of this type of environment. It had a significant impact on my self-confidence when attempting to interact and establish relationships with the opposite gender in the long term, generating an obstacle, which took a while to overcome. This would not have been an issue if I were educated in a co-educational school.

If we can have all mixed primary schools, colleges and universities, it would be rational to have all mixed secondary schools.


[1] GEA – Gender and Education Association | Single-sex and co-educational schooling ‘Single-sex and co-educational schooling’ 2013

[2] What is Single-Sex Education – Defining Single-Gender Education: ‘What is Single Sex Education?’ 2013

[3] Why King’s High? ‘The Benefits of a Single Sex School’ 2013

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