Why co-education should be choice? By Umar Babangida

20


Social media, few weeks back, is repleted with the news of separation of male students from females students schools. The news stimulates different reactions across parts, particularly in Bauchi state, of the country. Hence many people utterly comments on the issue, some are writing commendation whilst some are chiding, criticizing and condemning against the decision. Despite the press release issued by the commissioner of education of Bauch state, Dr. Alidu Tilde on his Facebook page about why they take the decision. He clarified that they have been worrying about the complaints of sordid, reprobate behaviors, immoralities, indecencies, and moral decadences in secondary schools across the state in the name of love amongst the students. The tunnel vision of how people is looking anything is, can never be the same, different. You can’t expect expect people to agree on any issue altogether without disagreement, disaffection and downright dissatisfaction, this decision is not exception. Thus, this decision caused protests, demonstration, social unrest- worse part of it- and many students quit the schools.


Co-education system in, as in any country, in Nigeria, is boosting the morales of both boys and girls not only in primary, secondary level but also, albeit the practice of co-education seems to be necessary, in tertiary levels. The combination of opposite genders to be studying together is of paramount and uttermost importance in different ways. For you would believe the assertion, if you compare the performances and the level of comprehension between those who attended a school which is practising co-education system and those who attended single/one gender, either boys or only girls schools. The performances of the former would perhaps be far better than the latter. Try and carry out this comparison, it would be story for another day. There have been this belief in the minds of people, and- proprietors, parents, sponsors, that schools which are practicing co-education seems to have made students to dressed decently, modestly, and downright responsibly.


I, myself, attended a school which has the combination of opposite genders down from primary to secondary level, albeit it was a public schools, I am a living witness for how it made me to performed better and engaged in a cut throat competition with our female counterparts. In any third term, we were agog to hear where first position would emerge. Was it from us, boys, or our counterparts, girls? We were jealous always to the success of our counterpart. This, and other things as such, helped me to be relentless in whatever I do since then for I take anything as competition. Anything becomes competitive in the class.


Nevertheless, the co-education system, as some other things, has pros and cons, the negative side of it, albeit I was very young to vividly remember for how it affected the behavior of many students because I was in primary then, is exposed the myriad number of chances to be doing superfluous things instead of focusing on what they were expected to do, like having engrossed in loving their class mates. I read one story of how one class mates were caught having exchanging libidinous signals while teacher was in the class. Worse of all, how many girls were caught fixed an appointment to meet her class mate after school hours? This perhaps becomes perilous to co-education system in Nigeria. The choice, and the nagging question in the mind of people, should be alternately as to which system is more compatible with the children of these days, single/one gender or co-education system?


Of all the disadvantages of co-education system, the other side of it is enormously enhanced understanding between genders. The benefits of it outnumbered the negative side of it, for in co-education schools there have been: competitive environment, improvement of personality and understanding, respect of each other, children are brave and bold, reduced education cost, girls are being encouraged, understanding of gender equality, balance, fairness and equity.


So, the cog in wheels on the co-education system in Nigeria that I think should be addressed by both teachers and parents in order to strengthen the system, the following problems should be tackled and addressed for it increased sexual activity among students, privacy invasion, lack and poor attention, disrupted learning process, and, of course it leads to the early marriage.


Umar Babangida writes from the faculty of communication, Bayero University, Kano and can be reached via: omarbangees@gmail.com.