Coeducation, also known as Mixed-sex education, is the integrated education of male and female persons in the same institution under same roof. Most of the older institutions of higher education were reserved for the male students but now changed their policies to become coeducational. The first co educational institute of higher education was Oberlin College in United States, which was established in 1833. In 1844, Hillsdale College became the second college to admit mixed-sex classes to four-year degree programs.
The University of Iowa became the first coeducational public or state university in the United States in 1855.
We have co education in many of our universities, a few colleges and some English type schools. It is mostly not available in most of our degree colleges up to intermediate level. Co education gives useful training to boys and girls to work together. While studying side by side in different classes, they learn to co operate for common aims and purposes. After completing their education, they can easily join different professions together.
They can work together for common national aims and scientific research centres. Co education is good as it develops self confidence. Boys and girls studying together can discuss their subjects and can help each other in understanding them well. Co education can make boys and girls competitive with each other in studies. Both can try to learn more and do better in discussions and examinations. Co education can save some institutions and can save money and in such a developing country like Pakistan.
At present, Pakistani govt. is not in the position to afford electricity for separate institutions for girls. Yet, co education has some disadvantages. First, it is totally against our religion. The system of co-education is not good in the Islamic States of the world. This system has been produced by the non-Muslim states. The concept of Hijab is not there, but in our religion Islam, Hijab (parda) is clearly ordered as presented in the Holy Quran in Surah Nisa.
Meeting, talks, relations and other non-islamic tasks between the males and females (Muslim na-mahram) is prohibited in Islam. ” A famous Hadith, ” When a na- mahram man and woman are standing alone, the third one is evil (Ebleese) among them”. Finally, I will conclude that coeducation has some advantages as well as disadvantages. It is necessary to make a proper use of co education in our institutions of higher learning. It is possible to get the benefits of co education and avoid most of the disadvantages.