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Coeducational Schools for Girls: Yes or No?

15 December, 2017
Q As-Salamu `Alaykum. Do you think that teenage Muslim girls should be sent to schools and colleges that are just for girls and not coeducational? This may protect them to an extent from any harm that they may inflict upon themselves due to free mixing of the sexes at schools. Satan should not be given such opportunities that he finds it easy to spoil innocent minds. What is your opinion? Thank you.

Answer

Wa ‘Alaykum Salam,

Thank you for your good question. Indeed, this is a commonly asked question, both in the West, where Muslims are in a minority situation, and in the Orient, where parents have now almost the same difficulty getting along with the challenges of globalization and modernization.

This is not a choice that is available all the time, but if there is a choice, for sure splitting boys and girls will be a better situation. It is not a matter of splitting but a matter of how people should deal with each other in general.

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Here is a simple list of advantages and disadvantages of unmixed school systems:

ADVANTAGES: 

1. It is a relief for the parents as they forget about problems of mixing girls and boys and the stories— sometimes horrible stories—you hear all the time.

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2. Classes are more homogenous and girls are freer in their actions.

3. It is easier for teachers in general as the teacher is speaking to the same way of thinking, especially when it comes to sexual education.

DISADVANTAGES:

1. Dealing with the society in which they live, which is usually and normally a mixed society, needs some skills: how to deal with different characters (boys), how to understand their intentions, and how to answer—roughly when a rough answer is needed, or politely but not smoothly. Girls don’t have a chance to practice these skills which actually makes it more difficult for them to deal with a mixed society afterwards.

2. Girls always feel that they have something missing, and they always express their hatred of the situation, because they are attracted to boys and because they are very curious about what is different in such a situation.

These are, in brief, the advantages and disadvantages all parents have to think of when making this crucial decision of where to put their children. Children have to be taught how to face society, even if it is only knowledge without practice, before they reach the stage when they are completely ignorant about the whole matter. May Allah guide us all to what pleases him.