The term 'coed' is derived from the word 'co-education'. Previously, schools and colleges usually taught only boys. A girl's education was limited to religion or medicine and she had to be content with becoming a nun or a nurse. Both these professions were reserved for women. Their education was conducted in separate faculty buildings. So, traditionally, girls and boys always went to separate schools.
Co-education is a relatively recent concept. As a result of the women liberation movement in the last century, more women started enrolling into and exploring educational institutions. Today, in almost all disciplines men and women are found in equal ratios. Most institutions impart education to boys and girls together.
The difference between a boarding school and other schools is that in a boarding school, students study and live on- campus. In a boarding school, most of the students are from other states or places at a considerable distance from the school. On-campus residence is necessary when the student resides far away from the educational institution he wishes to attend. Since these students come from various, far-out places, commuting daily becomes difficult. They need to find a convenient residential option, near the institution. Since the students are usually young, the parents as well as the educational institutions prefer that the students stay in the on-campus quarters, provided by the institution. Many private schools are boarding schools. The amount of time a student spends in the boarding school depends considerably on the level of education and the academic year pre-determined by the authorities. This on-campus stay involves a separation from the parents. Very often it results in homesickness. Students sent to boarding schools, are usually between two and eighteen years of age.
Even though boys and girls study together in a co-ed boarding school, their residential quarters are separate.
Mexican Boarding Schools
Mexico offers many boarding schools for the children of Mexican Americans. Most of the boarding schools are bi-lingual. Special boarding schools are also available for disturbed teenagers.
It is important to recognize that Mexican educational system is different than the U.S. system. Therefore, parents should consider important details, such as the environment, location and languages offered. Mexican schools, like U.S. schools, strive to provide a student with cultural and general knowledge about the country. They prepare the students to become a constructive part of the modern community. To avail of the desired quality of education, it is vital to get maximum information about the boarding school before taking a decision on the school the child should attend.
In Mexico, there are three levels of education. They are the primary or elementary level, junior high or middle school and high school and university level. Middle school education is divided into two sub-levels. Lower education is a three-year program. It is an extension of the primary education. Upper education is a two or three-year program, which offers the courses offered at the higher level. Federal, state and municipal governments partly fund the education system. The government also manages the duties and responsibilities of the public schools. It distributes free textbooks required in both, the primary and the lower secondary education. The national curriculum consists of subjects like mathematics, language, arts, natural sciences, technology, physical education and health education.
For children of the U.S., the trouble of enrolling in a new school and moving to another region can be difficult. To ease this stage, parents should make every effort to visit the child frequently. It would also help them to get acquainted with the locals. This helps the children to be at ease in their new surroundings and more receptive to new cultures.
Free Boarding Schools
A free school is an educational institution in which skills, information and knowledge are shared in an informal environment and in absence of an official hierarchy. By being more open-structured, the free schools aim to encourage their students to become more self-reliant, critical and yet conscious. It is observed, that the environment in the free schools, strive to attain greater personality development and confidence-levels in the students. Free boarding schools offer 'on campus' student accommodation, to outstation candidates.
Free schools have their origin in the late 19th and early 20th century anarchist schools of Spain. In recent times, the anarchist schools have grown out of the democratic school movement in America. It aims to avoid regimentation, excessive institutionalization and authority. The concept of free schools is propagated by prominent personalities. They act collectively, to create educational opportunities, without adherence to the customary rigid framework.
It is important to note that the word 'free' in free schools, does not only refer to the schooling cost, but also refers to an emphasis on the concept of free speech and an open learning system. Free schools usually get grants from Governments and philanthropists. They serve as a viable alternative for children who fail to cope with the conventional education system. Statistics indicate that, at any given time, nearly half of the free school students are transferred from the public and parochial schools.
Unfortunately, the number of free schools in the country is much less than the requirements in the community. As a result, a majority of the students wishing to enroll in free schools are from distant places and some are from different states. There are many students who require special care. Therefore, most of the free schools offer boarding facilities and professional counseling to their students in return for a modest fee.
Independent Boarding Schools
The term boarding school means an on-campus residential arrangement for students from distant places and different states. The word 'board' indicates a bed or a place to sleep, in old English. Even today, a person can find 'Board & Breakfast' facility advertisements displayed outside many buildings in Britain. Most boarding schools are modeled on the classic and successful British boarding school system.
As the name suggests, Independent Schools are generally autonomous institutions, which are governed by a board of trustees. They are supported by private funds. The other boarding schools are part of a large governmental system and depend on Government funds to run their operations.
In the U.S., independent schools vary in size, structure. They even follow different schools of philosophy. These schools attract students from diverse economic and cultural backgrounds. However, except the funding process, independent schools do not adhere to any specific system. Some independent schools are progressive and innovative. Some are conservative and traditional. There are day- independent schools and independent boarding schools operating throughout the country. Independent boarding schools may be coed, sectarian or nonsectarian. It is generally observed that Independent schools impart a high quality of education to their students.
A typical, modern, fee-charging Independent school usually has several separate residential blocks allotted to different student groups. Many Independent boarding schools are self-contained while others have many buildings, spread out within the vicinity of the school. Pupils need written permission to go outside the defined school bounds. They may be allowed to go out at certain specified times. The residential quarters reserved for girls are not easily accessible. Generally, a senior member of the faculty is in-charge of the boarding facilities within the school campus.
On account of the absence of Government funding, Independent school boarding facilities are more expensive than Government-supported boarding schools.