Mumbai News: Campion School Moots Transition To Co-Ed

Mumbai News: Campion School Moots Transition To Co-Ed

School contemplates change as a means to engage better with students and improve their quality of education

Lavanya AhireUpdated: Sunday, December 17, 2023, 11:01 PM IST
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Mumbai: 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, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Shashi Tharoor and the late Rishi Kapoor, is contemplating the change as a means to engage better with students and improve their quality of education.

“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.”

Plans to amp infrastructure

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

Father John Rose, the Council of Management secretary of Campion School, emphasised the need for infrastructure that would be needed to support female students.

According to him, the school will need new psychologists, sports teachers, toilets and washrooms to meet the requirements of the female students. 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. 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.

Global shift towards co-educational schools

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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