SoBo’s Premier All-Boys School—Campion—Mulls Transition to Co-ed

SoBo’s Premier All-Boys School—Campion—Mulls Transition to Co-ed

South Bombay’s premier all-boys Campion School is planning to open its doors to female students by becoming a co-ed institution.

Lavanya AhireUpdated: Monday, December 18, 2023, 02:42 PM IST
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SoBo’s Premier All-Boys School—Campion—Mulls Transition to Co-ed |

South Bombay’s premier all-boys Campion School is planning to open its doors to female students by becoming a co-ed institution. The 80-year-old ICSE-affiliated school, which boasts of distinguished alumni like Ratan Tata, Kumarmangalam Birla, Shashi Tharoor, Rishi Kapoor, and others, is contemplating the change as a means to engage better with students and improve their quality of education.

"Throughout the world we are moving towards co-ed learning spaces, keeping inclusion in mind. The principles of D E I - Diversity, Equality and Inclusion are dear to us. We would like our students to engage with their peers from diverse backgrounds - different countries, cultures, religions, castes and genders" said Father Keith D'Souza, the Chairman of the Council of Management.

Another reason outlined by the chairman for the considered transition is that as of now parents have to send their daughters to other schools. He added that parents and teachers have been informed of the possibility but no final decision has been made as yet.

"Concept of education has changed"

"Internationally it is recognised that co-ed is better for children because it builds better relationships in a relaxed manner when they are young", Father Frazer Mascarenhas, the Province Development Director, Vinayalaya, said. 

"The whole concept of education has changed and we want to keep up", he added.

The school is also planning to amp up its infrastructure to make it more interactive for students along with facilities like washrooms, which will facilitate the change towards more inclusivity.

Transition plan is not concrete

Father John Rose, the Council of Management secretary of the Campion School, also emphasised the need for the infrastructure that would be needed to support the female students in the school when it goes co-ed. 

According to him, the school would need new psychologists, sports teachers, toilets and washrooms to meet the requirements of the female students who will be enrolled. Fr Rose also assured that the school’s fee structure won’t be affected by its plan to go co-ed.

The transition plan is not concrete and it hasn’t been ratified by all stakeholders yet. No decision has been made public yet. Officials hope that by the 2025 academic year, the institute will see female students along with the boys who study in the school.

Although Jesuits, who run Campion School, were known for running single-gender schools, they have been gradually converting those learning centres into co-educational spaces in recent years to make them more inclusive and to bring gender sensitisation among the learners from an early age.

Kerala asks government to convert single-gender schools to co-ed

Globally, research works and arguments have advocated the transition of single-gender schools to co-educational schools to enhance the learning experiences of the students and to remove segregation on gender lines.

In 2022, an order of Kerala’s State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, asking the government to convert all single-gender schools to co-educational schools from the academic year 2023-24 onwards, stirred a debate over the topic.

Father Dr Francis Swamy, Principal of Campion School, had also spoken in support of co-ed schools at that time. “In my opinion, having co-ed schools is always a better option. It allows students to interact in different ways, knowing their limits and also exploring new things", he had said.

Fr Swamy, however, refused to comment on the proposal to convert Campion School to a co-ed school.

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