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Georgette Monnou: A Case For Co-Ed Schools



There was a recent study conducted across schools in the UK which indicated that students in single-sex schools do not necessarily perform better just because they have no access to the opposite sex. The initial theory was that by placing your child in a single-sex school, they would focus more. They would not need to think about going to parties, dating, or distracting themselves with thoughts about the guy or girl sitting next to them in class. Boy, wasn’t that a far cry from reality.

I was a child who was put in a single-sex school for her A – Levels. It was an amazing boarding school with huge grounds, a lot of support from teachers and far, far, far away from boys. But how much good did that do? Let me tell you a little short story.

We never really used to think about boys, not unless we had a pizza delivery. The delivery man from Papa John’s would casually walk towards the boarding house door. His unsuspecting mind never considered that he was about to walk into Crazyville. We would chatter amongst ourselves about how cute he was, how tight his bum was or about the six pack that was hiding beneath his shirt. We would open the door enthusiastically, take the pizza and then flirtatiously say, “Thank you!”

We never really used to think about boys until we would have dinner and we would drool over the new catering staff serving us rice and peas. We would bend over the counter to explain how we wanted broccoli, not the carrots that were mixed in the same bowl. This same guy got so much attention from the ladies that after his first week, he no longer was present at the canteen. Who knows whatever happened to him.

We never really used to think about boys, until we were in P.E. class and our P.E. teacher would utter the words, “Are you ready!” Although he stated that in relation to track and field, we still fantasized that he was talking about us, and our lives together. How we would travel the world, help orphans in Timbuktu and save endangered lions in the Sahara.

We never really used to think about boys, until a property surveyor visited our school and we were all relaxing having a coffee break. Seeing him arrive in his flashy car caused such a stir. I have never seen the two most uncooperative year groups ever, work together with such vigour. All the girls ran to the window to spy on their prey. They could not contain themselves because a few seconds after witnessing his smile, the girls screamed, winked and hollered at him whilst waving frantically. Some girls decided to go the extra mile by pushing their legs through the gaps in the window flapping their fibula at him.

As the story demonstrates, it isn’t that we never thought about boys, that was all some of us could ever think about, only because we didn’t have easy access to them. Counter intuitive won’t you say?

But with every rule there is an exception. I have always been a focused child; boys being present or not didn’t usually upset me, neither did it ever affect my school performance. I was just placed in a new world with over competitive girls, all wanting to over impress and academically squash anyone in their path. This would have happened anyway if boys were around, just that we would spend some of our time insulting their juvenile behaviour.

So what is the bottom line? Co-Ed schools are just the will and the way.

Share some of your experiences of Co-Ed schools and if you agree that they are counter-intuitive. What do you think of the subject?

*Some aspects of this article have been exaggerated for entertainment purposes.

Photo Credit:

Georgette Monnou was born in Lagos, Nigeria and has lived in various countries since then. She is in the final year of her Law degree in the UK. She updates her two blogs regularly, which are inspired by her passion for Nigeria and life itself. and

Georgie is a Creative Enthusiast who spends a lot of her time involved in various creative projects. To see more of her work, check out her new blogisite – Once you click on the link, you will join the league of stars that have exclusive access to Georgie through her articles, photos, poems and more.


  1. Aibee

    December 20, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Errr, your experience doesn’t provide sufficient evidence in support of the proposition that co-ed schools are the way to go. I went to a single sex secondary school and I didn’t feel like I missed anything. I read, I played and I passed my exams. Gained admission and had my fair share of toasters. Went to Law School and had toasters there too. Fell in love, fell out of love and repeated the circle all over again. Did my going to a single sex school affect me negatively? No. But that’s just my experience, doesn’t necessarily mean that single sex schools are the best.
    My point is this is one of those arguments where there aren’t any right and wrong perspectives. There simply isn’t sufficient empirical data in support of any position. Advocating single sex schools or co-ed schools as the best would a logical fallacy – concluding on insufficient grounds.

    • LL

      December 20, 2013 at 6:58 pm

      Kpom Kwem!

  2. Grace

    December 20, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    I find that the premise upon which this argument is based is flawed.
    Parents don’t send their children to boarding school not just to keep them away from boys…

  3. Thelma

    December 20, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    I never actually thought people were placed in single sex schools because it was expected that they would do better academically. I was in a single sex school and I don’t see how my life would have been any different, or turned out different if it was otherwise.
    Besides to counter what you’ve said, being in a single sex school did not stop the girls from thinking about boys. But all they could do was “think”, and never actualize the thoughts.
    Quite frankly I don’t see the difference it makes. I was going to it, maybe a child gets exposed to sex earlier, but even then, in a single sex schools, there were already sexually active girls. Some even got pregnant, some had their first abortions there.

  4. 'Midé

    December 20, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    In the university days, for experienced guys chasing girls only for sexual pleasure, it was easy to identify Jambites that went to only girls schools. Many of these guys lied to them and found them easy to sleep with because they were so gullible and believed everything a guy said. This could be due to the fact they had little association with guys. Within the first few months of school, most of these girls became promiscuous out of naivety. And guys would have used them and dumped them severally. Not everyone of them, but many.

  5. Emily

    December 20, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    I went to co-ed school and loved it. I always think school should reflect life after you finish. Life isn’t single sex, so school shouldn’t be either.

  6. Chinma Eke

    December 20, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    My opinion on the single sex vs co-ed debate is; unless you are preparing the students for a single sex world, then it’s useless to school children apart. School is a medium of socialization, not just education. how do you socialize children for a unisex world by schooling them separately?

    • Olori

      December 20, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      Couldn’t say it any better Chinma. I think single sex schools are one of the biggest forms of hypocrisy ever. The system does nothing to keep the kids’ minds ‘pure’. More often than not, it perverts their curiosity about the opposite sex and increases their chances of being socially awkward.

    • Noni

      March 20, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      I don’t think secondary school is supposed to prepare you for the actual world, that’s the job of a university. I liked my single sex school, it was more relaxed because we weren’t competing for boys’ attention. It also meant that no one was trying to impress anyone and we all acted like ourselves. I don’t support the idea that it’ll made us less focused on boys because like the writer said, it definitely made us boy crazy but I loved it. When I was 16, I went to a co-ed college for two years and I didn’t see what the fuss was about.

  7. Tiki

    December 20, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    I went to a single-sex school for 5 years, then a co-ed school for 2 years. Those 2 years prepared me no end for what was a hectic time in Uni. I KNOW for a fact that most parents send their daughters to single sex schools because boys are a distraction. However, when a child spends 9-10 months in a boarding school with only girls, for 7 years, then all of a sudden has to go away to University where she has her own room and can go and come as she pleases…can anyone say recipe for disaster?

    I think single-sex schools are good – they do away with a lot of unnecessary interactions for young teenagers. However, effort should be made to not cut them off totally, but to chaperone these interactions, be it during events organised by the schools, or events during the holidays.

    • anonymous 99

      January 9, 2014 at 2:27 am

      my sister God bless u. I went to a single sex school. doe I
      was a day student and it turned out fine. I thank God everyday that
      I went to a single sex school cause boy was I naïve way back then.
      I had male friends so I went on dates and had a bf by the time I
      was finishing secondary school. so all the mistakes I made in
      secondary school though they were PG mistakes helped me not to make
      major mistakes in uni and as a young adult. my kids by Gods grace
      are going to go to single sex day schools. cause it did wonders for
      me. the lord knows I would have been a whore if I didn’t go to a
      single sex school.

  8. obi

    December 20, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Single sex schools (girls)encourage lesbianim. Most girls
    that attend girls only schools especially boarding schools practice
    lesbianism popularly called “supe”

  9. Sassymide

    December 21, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    I went to a single sex school and while I was timid the
    whole six years, I made up with good grades and no distractions. I
    didn’t have too much problems associating with boys when the time
    came. Currently, my son is in a single sex school and I’m hoping it
    works out just as well for him.

  10. Impervious

    December 24, 2013 at 9:51 am

    I think I agree with Emily. My parents thankfully gave me the option of coed vs single sex boarding. The reality was that most of my friends were female seein as we were split in single sex houses anyway, but I thoroughly needed to understand male/ female dynamics and personally coed helped. As girly as I supposedly am… The lads knew they couldn’t bamboozle me lol and I made sold male friends who I still speak to today.

  11. Dr. N

    December 24, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    I went to a single sex school and tho it didn’t stop me from thinking about boys, there was no opportunity to act on tge thoughts. By the time I was in uni, my character was formed. Boys were human beings to chat with and learn from not fantasize endlessly about. I think same can be taught in co-ed. Teenage is fraught with temptation but mentoring is key.

  12. me

    December 24, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    I don’t like single sex schools. There’s tends to be a lot of bitchiness, unhealthy competition and all sorts. What’s the point of the school when it doesn’t reflect the reality and normality of the real world? Seems pretty pointless to me.

  13. Stacie

    December 25, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    i do not like mixed school, boys are the subject matter, girls dating boys in school, getting pregnant and having abortions, i do not advise parents sending their children to mixed schools.

  14. feisty chic

    December 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I went to a single sex school and then co-ed and my yrs in the single sex school made me unable to speak with boys for a whole yr. I believe co-ed schools are better as they help you develop healthy social relationships for your later years.

  15. Fair game

    December 27, 2013 at 12:01 am

    I much prefer single sex schools for daughters and maybe coed for boys. Girls by design are different from boys. And if you add the cultural and social dynamics girls find themselves in in the society, it helps that girls learn to be themselves without the overhanging shadow of boys at the early stages of their development. I went to a single sex school and it was a blast. I Formed sisterly bonds that exist today. And learnt how to socialize as a lady with the opposite sex because it was deliberately taught in our social days when teachers would supervise the interaction between us and the visiting boys from other schools, In University I studied a predominantly male degree and was able to stand my ground because I did not see boys from a sexual perspective first. I saw them as individuals first. Coed schools in my opinion unfortunately do not provide the respite girls need to form their personality before being under the gaze of boys. It is usually in coed schools that girls start to develop bad reputation due to their over socialization with boys. Of course there are downsides to every type of school but I find that my experience in a single sex school was altogether good for me. It enhanced my focus, I did think about boys but since they were not an ever present fixture I learnt to focus on my academics and achieve outstanding results. And the lack of boys was not missed because as ladies our sex drive is different from that of boys, we learnt to be sisters and ladies, and to compete and to triumph. That is the legacy of my single sex secondary school.

    • nwanyi na aga aga

      December 27, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      U couldnt have said it better. I actually choose to go to a single sex school, it didnt affect my relationship with guys at all. One good thing I learnt is that I was able to relate with girls of different temperament. the 6yrs was not beans. It was a blast! I wouldnt ve had it other ways.

    • Newbie

      January 7, 2014 at 11:46 am

      Your first statement got me confused. If you prefer single-sex schools for girls, which girls are you going to get to go to the co-ed schools for boys?

  16. the mane captain

    December 27, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    For boarding schools, single sex is a safer option for girls. The stories you hear about rape isn’t pleasing. but for day schools, co-ed isn’t a bad option. I went to both and i’d admit that I prefered co-ed because there was a lot more “varieties”.

  17. uche

    December 30, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Lol! I think it depends on the school and the individual. Mine was a single sex school, and apart from the few exceptions (and by few, I mean less than 5%) that chose their own paths, I think my school did well for itself. Most of us are doing good and have good careers. I do not have iSsues with boys, and I didn’t fall into the category of girls that believed a lot of lies from boys. We had moral lessons and plenty talks about boys so I guess we were sort of mentally prepared. Plus, don’t forget there are also holidays where you meet same boys and interschool meets and so on. And correct me if I’m wrong, but from what I’ve noticed, most girls in ‘testosterone-driven’ professions finished from single sex schools. That says something. And if your issue is lesbianism, people in co-ed schools will also have that issue cause secondary school age is when most individuals are sexually curious so they will go to any lengths to experiment. Its not a single-sex school problem.

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