Single-Sex Educational System: The Pros and Cons


Pros and Cons of Single-Sex Educational System

Single-sex educational system is a system of education where the two genders are separated; the boy’s school is just simply boy’s school, not taking in girls while the girl’s school is simply a girls’ school as well. There’s no mixture of boys and girls, rather the genders experience the learning processes separately. While different people may have different views about single-sex education and whether it is okay or not, it is important to consider the advantages and the disadvantages of this kind of education. In this article are some of the pros and cons of single-sex educational system.

If something has advantages, it will likely have disadvantages too, the consideration will then have to be which side weighs more significantly- disadvantages or advantages? By taking a good look at the advantages and disadvantages of single-sex education maybe parents will be able to decide on which is better for the wards or and perhaps educational administrators will also be able to choose which one is best for them to use, maybe in establishing schools. Some private schools and some federal schools in Nigeria operate single-sex education in some places. Of course, we have both the mixed and single form of education in Nigeria.


1. A free environment for expression

In a school where single-sex education is being operated, just boys alone or girls alone, it is very likely that the psychology of trying to impress the opposite sex will be will not be there. This will help in some ways, one is that the students they will be able to express themselves freely without having to consider whether they are impressing the opposite sex or disgracing themselves in the sight of the opposite sex, this kind of psychology will not be there and so the students will be able to express themselves more freely and there will be more participation in the classes, this is a good side to the single-sex educational system. In a mixed school that will be different as it is normal for the demeanor of students to change when they see the opposite gender around them. There may be a different or probably reduced level of expression.

2. Environment enhancing focus

Another very good advantage of the single-sex educational system is that the students in the school will be able to focus more, their concentration will be helped because the distraction that is supposed to come to them if students of the opposite sex or opposite gender were to be around them will not be there, so compared to what students in the mixed schools will be experiencing, these students who are in schools operating single-sex education will have an environment that will aid more focus and concentration on their studies or some other important things. The boyfriend, girlfriend thing might not really be as pronounced or as prominent as in a mixed school. This is another good thing about the single-sex educational system. If the students are able to focus more on their studies, then it is a boost to the learning process.

3. Possibility of using gender-specific approach

Also, the possibility is there for the school administration in a single-sex educational system to be able to tailor the curriculum or narrow down topics and make them to be specific for the particular gender that is being admitted into that particular school. That will enhance a more focused style of teaching and learning process which means if it is a boy school, topics can be tailored to be specific for the boys that are in the school and if it’s a girl school, the topics will be handled can be tailored towards being for girls.


1. Social imbalance

One major disadvantage of operating a single-sex educational system is that the social life of the students may not be as balanced as it ought to be because they are not, they are not as exposed as they ought to be. Some of the basic and normal, usual exposure that they are supposed to have if they had the opposite gender around them might not really be there. This might affect the balance in their social life, they will not be interacting with the opposite gender as frequently as those who are in the mixed school. In a mixed school the boys and the girls relate together, they talk together, and they are more likely to have a more balanced social life than those in a single-sex educational system. Social skills that they are supposed to learn early in the way they relate with the opposite sex might not really be there because they are not exposed to an environment where those skills can be built.

2. Difficulty in adapting later

It may also be somewhat hard for students who attend a school that operates single-sex education to be able to adapt into the right ways of interacting with the opposite gender. A student who attend a mixed school already have likely interacted with the opposite gender and probably have gained some social skills in relating with the opposite gender, a student who attends a mixed school likely already knows what is right – the correct way to relate to interact with the opposite gender and the wrong approaches or reactions too, what is normal and what is abnormal. For a student who does not have that experience of interacting with the opposite sex in normal day to day school life, to adapt later in life to the skills of handling the opposite gender might be a little difficult.

3. Untrained teachers for gender-specific approach

In the case where gender specific approaches at to be used to handle the students in a single-sex educational system, if there are teachers who are not well trained on how to use the gender specific approach, then it might be difficult for them to use. So, it might require training for these teachers as to how to apply the gender specific approach in a single-sex education system.

In whatever case, but the single-sex educational system and mixed educational system exist in the country, so it is more important for the parent of the child or the student to be able to know and decide on which one will be very okay for the ward, so that the right environment to be created for the child to really get the best both academically and socially. By means of weighing the Pros and the Cons and considering what is best for the child, then a good decision should be arrived at. Do not put a child in a system that may not be the best for him or her.

It is important to consider the fact that students who attend schools that operate single-sex educational system will still have to eventually live and interact with people in a mixed community of both males and females, while the schools operating single-sex educational system may still continue to exist, the administrative bodies of the schools concerned should ensure that they make their operations and methods such that the students can still have the right kind of mentality and understanding they ought to have, so as to guarantee to some extent that the students can still mix properly in a mixed community.