Deciding on the best big school to send one’s child to is an issue most parents will have to make even before their preschooler leaves the comfort of play school. And one of the more significant issues some parents may feel strongly about involves choosing between a coed and an exclusive school.
Ed Montesclaros, a management consultant, and his wife Ditas, a banking executive, have three children, Louie, Chino, and Inna, who all attend a private coed school in Makati. “We chose the school essentially for its academic standards and a strong Catholic education, but never really considered gender as an important factor in our choice,” Ed says. He strongly feels though that “coed leads to a better, more balanced social development, at least for my kids.”
Banking and finance specialist Don Brodeth and his wife Tessa, a freelance visual artist, have decided to send their three kids, Mara, Michael, and Dale, to a coed school in Makati as well. Don shares, “We primarily considered the school for its academic reputation, proximity, and values formation, and not really so much whether it was coed or not.”
Teta Blanco, a young lawyer with three sons, four-year-old Paco, two-year-old Robbie, and one-year-old Richie, wants his boys in an exclusive school, however, and his top choice is Ateneo—his own alma mater. Teta explains, “I have never really considered any other school for my sons. But I have always valued my own experiences in the all-boys’ school because it let me build an ‘old-boy network’. There are more enduring ties in all-boys’ schools, with no distractions from the opposite sex.”
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For many parents, practical reasons such as the school’s proximity, or more so, its affordability, become the most significant considerations for choosing a school. Yet for others, the social ad-vantages form part of the deliberations.
In the end, the advantages and disadvantages of coed schools and same-sex schools may even out where social and academic problems are con-cerned. In truth, the social, academic, or discipline problems that eventually manifest in the elementary or high school years are common to both types of schools.
Click here to learn more about gender as an issue for parents.