Unique advantages to single-sex schools

As someone who attended an all-girls school, I was incensed to read that there are some who feel that such schools are not beneficial to students (Single-sex schools do not benefit students, by Mr Francis Cheng; Nov 25).

There are unique advantages to being in a single-sex school.

For instance, it enabled me to feel more empowered as a female living in a male-dominated society.

Teachers and authority figures always encouraged us to dream big and work hard to attain our goals, rather than yield to patriarchal constraints and other pre-determined social structures.

While it may be true that students from single-sex schools do not have the opportunity to interact with the opposite gender daily, the argument that this will engender social reclusion or awkwardness does not hold water. Many of my peers are able to interact seamlessly with those from the opposite gender, despite having been in single-sex schools for 10 years.

Moreover, all tertiary institutions are co-ed.

This means students will get to interact with the opposite gender eventually. By this time, they can also do so in a more mature manner.

Although essential people skills should ideally be imparted and honed in school, students can also develop these skills by interacting with the opposite gender outside school.

This undercuts the argument that our education system needs to be revamped to reduce gender segregation.

It is disturbing to see that there are those who believe that being students of single-sex schools and possessing social adeptness are mutually exclusive.

This mindset needs to be altered because single-sex schools are here to stay.

Ashley Tan Yu Yi, 17

JC 1 student

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 13, 2017, with the headline 'Unique advantages to single-sex schools'. Print Edition | Subscribe