Abu Dhabi All Girls School – The Pros and Cons

Considering sending your daughter to an Abu Dhabi All Girls School?  Here are some pros and cons to consider before making that choice.

Every mom wants to make the best educational decisions when sending their children off to school.  Within the next two years, 17 private schools plan on opening their doors to pupils within Abu Dhabi. Two of these schools are girls-only.  Being a mom to two daughters, I’ve put a lot of thought into what type of schooling would serve them best.  Last May I attended the open house at Al Mamoura School and was won-over by the dynamic Wendy Roderick who serves as a Principal and the Head of Secondary.  She completely won me over on the vision of single-sex schools.  However, as with anything, there are pros and cons.

Pros:

  • One obvious argument for single-sex education is the removal of distraction.  At certain ages, when curiosities and hormones begin to take hold, boys and girls are often distracted by members of the opposite sex.
  • Some research shows that separating boys and girls removes the pressures of competing in fields stereotypically dominated by members of the opposite sex.  For example, girls will feel a higher aptitude in PE and males will be more comfortable expressing themselves in Language Arts.
  • Some studies have shown girls perform better in a warmer classroom, while boys thrive in cooler environments.
  • Teachers are able to use gender specific instructional techniques.
  • Private girls schools create a sense of community among students.  Typically academic standards are high, and classmates will bond over the responsibilities they manage day-to-day
  • Boys and girls often develop at different rates.  Girls often possess an academic readiness before the boys in their class.
  • Your child will remain a child longer.  No boys to impress, no makeup to impress them with.  With these distractions being limited, many girls attending single-sex schools are in less of a rush to grow up.

Cons:

  • Students will one day have to leave the classroom for the real world where they will need to work and socialize with members of the opposite sex.  Confining a child, and allowing them interaction with only members of the same sex can severely impede on socialization skills
  • Diversity, understanding and life experience.  Being in a more diverse environment, encourages sympathy and understanding of others.  Being a kid is one of the greatest time of your life.  You don’t want your child feeling as if they have missed out
  • Some teachers may not be thoroughly educated in gender specific teaching methods
  • Promotes gender stereotypes.  A sensitive boy or a dominate girl will not perform to their best ability if the feel as if they are being stifled with gender bias.  In fact, this environment could be particularly tough on someone who doesn’t align with the stereotypes.
  • Boys mature at a slower rate, and will suffer without the positive influence of girls around them.

There is no right or wrong answer as far as single-sex education.  Think about the pros and cons before making your decision, and factor in what your child wants.  The idea of a single-sex school may horrify them initially, but soon the lack of pressure while at school could make up for it. 

Esraa Bani-Rothman

Esraa Bani-Rothman

Founder & CEO at Moms Guide Abu Dhabi
aka, Expat Mom
Sudanese-American working mom of three. Free Spirit. Idea Curator. Her brain moves faster than her body can go. A laid back chic who walks around with that stereotypical hippie vibe.She is never afraid to give you her unsolicited opinion about gentle parenting. Esraa has been actively over-sharing her motherhood and parenting stories on social media since 2008.
Esraa Bani-Rothman

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