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I graduated from a coeducational school. When I entered university, I realized how my behavior with boys and on several other issues differed in comparison to other girls.

For instance, I could comfortably voice my opinions around boys, but other girls could hardly express their thoughts in front of the class. They felt shy to stand in front of a mixed gender audience and discuss problems in class. This issue continued with some of them till the end of their studies.

In the that gatherings we had, most of the girls would have wrong judgments and misconceptions about boys. They carried wrong perception about the boys and often assumed that most boys were trying to get close to them. Maybe some of the boys did really have such intentions, but not all of them!

Why did the girls have such perceptions?
I think, to most girls, and even boys, see relation with the other gender limited to that of a sexual relationship. With this assumptions, how can we expect them to work with each other for a bright future for Afghanistan?

Girls who studied with me did not know how to react if a boy was rude to them. Most of them usually responded by shouting and abusing. They felt proud of such reactions that they perceived as “accomplishments”. “Look, how I showed him down,” they would proudly tell each other.

In their subconscious mind, they had defined boys as their inherent competitors.

But they didn’t realise that even if they do not interact with boys in school, they still had to study with them at the university. And if we escape them in the university, undoubtedly, we have to deal with them in offices. So it is very important that we learn how to behave with each other and it’s better that it start soon.

ALSO READ: One of Afghanistan’s first coeducational school opens in Ghazni district; local mullahs approve

Why have coeducation in schools?
School is a formative phase in our live, shaping many thoughts and believes for the future. It’s better to start learning such skills and being part of society at an early age. Mistakes we make at that time will teach us how to get improve and to cooperate with both genders in the future.

Many a times, I wonder who really created this big divide between boys and girls. Why should they be separated by any kind of division? Most people will want to complicated it and give philosophical opinions.

It is true that I am different but in the end both of us are human beings and nothing is important than that.

Coeducation system teaches us, gradually, how to deal with opposite gender and how differences with each other should be dealt with.

Of course, girls and boys should be looked after carefully while in schools.

But, it is these small experiences can teach things that can be beneficial and effective for the individual even in their relations with eventual life partners.

ALSO READ: Helmand school turns to coeducation due to lack of teachers and students

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How coeducation helped me grow into a confident citizen

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