FREDERICK BANTING SCHOOL INTRODUCES AN ALL-GIRLS WING
Frederick Banting International School is proud to introduce a new all-girl wing in its academic institution. The all-girl wing will be available as soon as the school is officially inaugurated in September of 2018. It allows female students from Grade 6 to Grade 12 to choose to conduct their studies apart from male students. The practice of co-ed education also continues to remain an option for those students who find it preferable.
Principal Sanjiv Dhawan is excited to be able to offer the option of single gender education to his students and their parents. Frederick Banting is situated in a spacious building that makes the principal’s vision possible, unlike his first school – Guru Tegh Bahadur International School – whose small size prevented Dhawan from making that option available earlier. “Single gender education can be very valuable,” says Dhawan, “especially during the middle and high school years.”
The impact of single gender education is observable in both qualitative and quantitative terms. For instance, the Principal notes, girls’ classrooms tend to create a culture of achievement that celebrates academic progress and the development of girls’ individual potential. Ultimately, girls take center stage and become comfortable being in leadership positions and affirming their self-worth. “To put it simply,” Dhawan says, the experience of single gender education “teaches girls that there is enormous potential and strength in being a girl.”
Statistically speaking, girls attending single gender classes overwhelmingly report being better mentored than their co-ed counterparts. In accordance with the research of Dr. Holmgren, 94.6% of girls feel supported by their teachers compared to 84.1% of girls at coed schools; 89.9% report feeling supported by other students compared to 73.1% of girls at coed schools; and 82.8% feel supported by their school administrators compared 62.6% of girls at coed schools. (Dr. Richard A. Holmgren, Allegheny College, Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools). Likewise, the research findings of Dr. Sax from UCLA reveal that “nearly half of all women graduating from single-sex schools rate their public speaking ability as high compared to 38.5% of women graduates from coed schools.
A similar differential exists for writing abilities: 64.2% of girls’ school graduates assess their writing as high, compared to 58.8% of women graduates of coed schools.” (Linda Sax, UCLA, Women Graduates of Single-Sex and Coeducational High Schools: Differences in their Characteristics and the Transition to College) Ultimately, statistical studies on the subject of single gender education are mushrooming in research universities and they have made notable strides in confirming the benefit of this education to girls. Aside from the quantitative research pertaining to this subject, Principal Dhawan believes that it’s important for parents and students to have a choice in a matter as crucial educations. As opposed to being compelled to either study or not study with people from the opposite sex, students and their families should have the prerogative to choose. The availability of choice enables to a school to accommodate different cultural norms, religious traditions, and personal opinions without imposing discomfort on anyone.
An increasing number of parents and students are attracted to the idea of a single gender education because it provides girls with inspiring environment in which to excel. For instance, in an all-girl classroom, a young girl can appreciate her capabilities and talents in ways completely divorced from the way she looks. This provides girls with the unique ability to spread their wings and explore the limits of their minds without explicit or implicit pressure from the opposite sex. In addition to this added sense of comfort for girls, which in turn results in added self-confidence, all-girl classrooms also provide female students with positive peer role models.
While in co-ed classrooms there is a random distribution of roles and tasks between boys and girls, in a single gender classroom, a girl occupies every role. There is no pressure to conform to traditional gender types, as there is no sense of entitlement based on gender. This situation provides girls with a cornucopia of paths for exploration and self-development. Whether a girl displays interest in art, dance, poetry, biology, or engineering she is equally supported. One option is not portrayed as more suitable for girls than others. As evidence of this positive impact, the Goodman Research Group found that “girls’ school grads are 6 times more likely to consider majoring in math, science, and technology compared to girls who attend cord school.” (The Goodman Research Group, the Girls’ School Experience: A Survey of Young Alumnae of Single-Sex Schools).
In addition to academic studies and research results, Dhawan believes in the sensibility of simple yet insightful common sense. “Most young people,” the Principal believes, “whether boys or girls, choose things they are good at rather than risking embarrassment.” Because of this, they tend to stray away from things they’re inexperienced with or risk being ridiculed about. “A girl may, therefore, feel uncomfortable signing up for a computer programming class since it’s seen as a traditionally male area of expertise.” If, however, she had the opportunity to sit in an all-girl computer programming class, she may come away with a very different attitude.