Last month, the Minister of Education had shared his views on mixed gender schooling. According to him, colleges should cater for both genders as this is more representative of the world of work. Vasant Bunwaree has now proclaimed that those schools which will be implementing the 9-year schooling project will possibly follow the concept of coeducation, with both genders learning together, as is the case in primary schools.
However, the 9-year schooling project has not yet been finalised. Currently, a committee is working it out; the final version of the project has yet been decided and approved. In two months’ time, the ministry will hold a meeting with the syndicate of teachers and parents’ associations to discuss it fully, weighing the pros and cons, to be able to implement the best methods.
With the creation of Cluster Schools, coeducation will become the norm – cluster schools will accommodate for students in their first 3 years of secondary schooling. After completion of these 3 years, having chosen the subjects for higher classes, the students will then be admitted to specialised colleges where specific programs of education will have been catered for. Registration in the cluster schools will be done preferentially for those students living in the zone assigned to the schools. Therefore, the students will have the same classmates for primary schools and cluster schools.
The Minister also said that the unisex schools will not be closed and banned. Parents will therefore have the choice as to which type of school to send their offspring to, mixed gender schools or those restricted to one sex only.