Public vs. private schools: where should you send the kids?

When it comes to matters of schooling, this is not an issue parents want to get wrong. Both public and private schools offer a range of different pros and cons.

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private vs public school
Choosing the right school to send your kids to can be quite difficult. Photo: Igor Stepovik,Bigstock

Your child is finally at the age where you can start considering the education they’re going to be receiving. So it begs the question… Public or Private school? Every parent asks themselves this question, but in truth; the question goes way deeper than that.

There are many variables you need to consider about a school, whether it is public or private and simply choosing one over the other because of stature may not be the wise choice to make.

So what do you do? Well hopefully this article should tell you a little bit about it, considering there is a multitude of things to consider. As such a big subject that can and definitely will affect your child’s education and character growing up, you want to choose the right school for them.

Uniform

Whether you agree with uniforms or not, they are something you need to consider before sending your child away to a school. Why? Because a uniform isn’t just a piece of clothing that advertises the school the children attend, as many seem to believe.

A uniform is something that separates the children’s egos and allows them to judge each other on merit and character rather than their physical appearance.

Choosing a school with a uniform may be something you want to consider if you want to ensure your child isn’t the victim of bullying due to their appearance at any point in their education. You will find both public and private schools often have uniforms.

Co-Ed or Single Gender School

Another extremely important variable to consider is whether or not the school you are considering accepts both male and female students. It is still very much debated whether or not single gender schools are the better option, but is up to you to decide for yourself.

Here are a few things to consider about co-ed schools:

  • Positive: Your child will have the opportunity to interact with people of the opposite sex and learn how to relate to them for later on in life.
  • Positive: Your child will have the freedom to date, should you allow it (and likely otherwise).
  • Negative: Often the opposite gender can be a distraction in class.
  • Negative: Your child may feel more insecure in their schooling environment.
private or public school
Each type of schooling offers different pros and cons. Photo: Nadezhda1906, Bigstock

Here are some things to consider about same-gender schools:

  • Positive: Less distracting environment.
  • Positive: If your child is male, often you will find they will thrive in the environment provided by all-male schooling. All- male school students tend to build a very wide sense of comradery and brotherhood.
  • Positive: Your child will receive a much more tailored education, fitting more to their gender attributes.
  • Negative: Bullying will likely be a much higher issue (especially where all-female schooling is concerned).
  • Negative: Your child won’t have as much interaction with the opposite gender.

Realistically, the choice very much depends on what your child is like. Before making a choice about whether or not to send your son or daughter into a same-gender school, consider asking them their preferences or paying attention to their character.

Reputation

Many people brush off a school’s reputation, thinking that it was likely started due to rumours or otherwise false statements. The case is, that often the case is the very opposite. Yes, often there is more to the story, however reputation is an important factor to take into consideration.

This doesn’t just mean the school’s educational curriculum or their students’ behaviour, but can also mean their overall school spirit. One of the best lessons your child can learn in school is team spirit.

Getting along in a team environment is crucial to growth as a human being and looking at the school’s extra curricular activities may be one way to ensure your child finds that lesson for themselves.

Schools with a higher amount of options when it comes to sports are opportune, as you will provide your child the choice as to what they join, or whether or not they do so at all.

You want to make sure your child’s school isn’t too sports-orientated, however; because that can often lead to some serious bullying issues for children who aren’t ‘naturally gifted’ and an environment that is far too competitive.

In Summary

Choosing your child’s education should not be based on whether or not their school is public or private. There are many amazing public schools out there and many horrible private schools.

It is about making sure the school fits your child. A great way to think of it is; do you want a school that will shape your child in to a particular person? Or would you rather a school that nurtures who they already are and helps them grow their skills and attributes to become their own man/ woman?

Remember that your child’s education is much deeper than the simple question of “public or private?” and should be treated as such.