Yesterday we explained that there are three types of education, we discussed the formal education and today we will continue with the other two types, i.e. Informal and non-formal education.
Informal education may be a parent teaching a child how to prepare a meal or ride a bicycle.
People can also get an informal education by reading many books from a library or educational websites.
Informal education is when you are not studying in a school and do not use any particular learning method. In this type of education, conscious efforts are not involved. It is neither pre-planned nor deliberate. It may be learned at some marketplace, hotel or at home.
Unlike formal education, informal education is not imparted by an institution such as school or college. Informal education is not given according to any fixed timetable. There is no set curriculum required. Informal education consists of experiences and actually living in the family or community.
Examples of Informal Education
· Teaching the child some basics such as numeric characters.
· Someone learning his/her mother tongue
· A spontaneous type of learning, “if a person standing in a bank learns about opening and maintaining the account at the bank from someone.”
Characteristics of Informal Education
· It is independent of boundary walls.
· It has no definite syllabus.
· It is not pre-planned and has no timetable.
· No fees are required as we get informal education through daily experience and by learning new things.
· It is a lifelong process in a natural way.
· The certificates/degrees are not involved and one has no stress for learning the new things.
· You can get from any source such as media, life experiences, friends, family etc.
Advantages of Informal Education
· More naturally learning process as you can learn at anywhere and at any time from your daily experience.
· It involves activities like individual and personal research on a topic of interest for themselves by utilizing books, libraries, social media, internet or getting assistance from informal trainers.
· Utilizes a variety of techniques.
· No specific time span.
· Less costly and time-efficient learning process.
· No need to hire experts as most of the professionals may be willing to share their precious knowledge with students/public through social media and the internet.
Disadvantages of Informal Education
· Information acquired from the internet, social media or conversations with friends/family members may lead to disinformation.
· Utilized techniques may not be appropriate.
· No proper schedule/time span.
· Unpredictable results which simply could lead to the wastage of time.
· Lack of confidence in the learner.
· Absence of discipline, attitude and good habits.
Non-formal education includes adult basic education, adult literacy education or school equivalency preparation.
In non-formal education, someone (who is not in school) can learn literacy, other basic skills or job skills.
Home education, individualized instruction (such as programmed learning), distance learning and computer-assisted instruction are other possibilities.
Non-formal education is imparted consciously and deliberately and systematically implemented. It should be organized for a homogeneous group. Non-formal education should be programmed to serve the needs of the identified group. This will necessitate flexibility in the design of the curriculum and the scheme of evaluation.
Examples of Non-formal Education
· Boy Scouts and Girls Guides develop some sports program such as swimming comes under non-formal education.
· Fitness programs.
· Community-based adult education courses.
· Free courses for adult education developed by some organizations.
Characteristics of Non-formal Education
· The non-formal education is planned and takes place apart from the school system.
· The timetable and syllabus can be adjustable.
· Unlike theoretical formal education, it is practical and vocational education.
· Non-formal education has no age limit.
· Fees or certificates may or may not be necessary.
· It may be full time or part-time learning and one can earn and learn together.
· It involves learning of professional skills.
Advantages of Non-formal Education
· Practiced and vocational training.
· Naturally growing minds that do not wait for the system to amend.
· Literacy with skilful growth in which self-learning is appreciated.
· Flexibility in age, curriculum and time.
· Open-ended educational system in which both the public and private sector are involved in the process.
· No need to conduct regular exams.
· Diploma, certificates, and award are not essential to be awarded.
Disadvantages of Non-formal Education
· Attendance of participants is unsteady.
· Sometimes, it’s just wastage of time as there is no need to conduct the exam on regular basis and no degree/diploma is awarded at the end of the training session.
· Basic reading and writing skills are crucial to learn.
· No professional and trained teachers.
· Students may not enjoy full confidence as the regular students enjoy.