Types of Education: Formal, Informal & Non-formal

Meaning & Types of Education:

EducationIt is a gradual process that brings about positive changes in our lives and behaviours.

Also, we candefine educationAs “a method of learning knowledge through study, or imparting it by means of instructions or other practical procedures”.

What is education?

Education can bring about a lasting and natural change in an individual’s thinking and ability to reach the desired goal.

It allows us to explore our thoughts and feelings and lets us express them in different ways.

Education is what makes us distinguish right from wrong. Without it, we don’t have the ability to do the things we need or reach our goals.

We can easily say,“Education is the key to success”It is also the key to our destiny, as success can only be achieved when people have the right information, abilities, and mindset.

Education is a way to communicate with others and share our thoughts.

First, you need to be proficient with certain essential skills in order to tackle problems and use your imagination. To become more imaginative, we need to learn and develop the skills necessary. Education is the fundamental learning of skills and ideas that can help us become more innovative and problem solvers. To be able to solve legal issues and develop new ideas, education is essential.

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types of education, formal education, informal education, nonformal education
Types of Education


It also means teaching people how to do things and encouraging them to reflect on what they have learned.

Teachers must also teach how to locate and use information. Education is the way that knowledge about society, countries, and the world can be passed from one generation to the next.

Children and adults in democracies are expected to learn to be active citizens through education.

Education helps individuals transform from one class of society to the next. Education empowers individuals, societies, and countries to grow.

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Different types of education

Education extends beyond the four walls of the classroom. These factors are as important as the experiences a child has outside of school. There areThere are three types of education.There are three types: Formal, Informal, and Non-formal. Below is a discussion of each type.

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Formal Education

Formal education and formal learning The school is where the individual may learn basic, academic or trade skills. Although small children may attend a nursery or kindergarten, formal education often begins in elementary school and continues through secondary school.

Post-secondary education, also known as higher education, is typically at a college or university that may offer an academic degree. It is usually associated with a particular stage or is provided under certain rules and regulations.

Specially qualified teachers provide formal education. They are expected to be effective in the art and science of instruction. The teachers must also be disciplined. Both the teacher and student are fully aware of these facts and actively engage in education.

Examples of formal education

  • Learning in a classroom
  • School grading/certification, college, and university degrees
  • Different subjects can be planned with a syllabus that has been acquired through the institution.

The characteristics of formal education

  • Formal education is organized hierarchically.
  • It is deliberate and planned.
  • Regular fees are payable.
  • It uses a chronological grading system.
  • It is subject-oriented and has a syllabus. It must be completed within a specified time frame.
  • Teachers teach the child

The advantages of formal education

  • A well-organized educational model with up-to-date course contents.
  • Professional teachers are available to students.
  • A structured and systematic learning process.
  • Students will be assessed in the final and intermediate assessments to ensure they are ready for the next learning phase.
  • Institutions are physically and managerially organized.
  • This certificate can be formalized.
  • It is easy to get a job.

The disadvantages of formal education

  • Sometimes brilliant students get bored waiting for the academic session to end to be promoted to the next stage.
  • The presence of both good students and bad students in the classroom may lead to bad habits being adopted. This could be alarming.
  • It is possible to waste time because some students, despite being motivated by professional trainers, may not learn correctly.
  • Students may feel disappointed by formal education if they are not provided with a standard education.
  • Education is expensive and rigid, compared to other learning methods
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Informal Education

Informal education A parent might teach a child how cook a meal or to ride a bike.

Informal education can also be achieved by reading many books in a library or on educational websites.

Informal education refers to when you don’t study in school and don’t use any particular learning methods. This type of education does not require conscious effort. It is not pre-planned or deliberate. You can learn it in a shop, at home or in a hotel.

Informal education does not take place in a school or college, unlike formal education. Informal education does not follow a set schedule. There is no prescribed curriculum. Informal education is based on experiences and living in the community.

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Examples of informal education

  • Teach the child basic concepts such as numeral characters.
  • A person who learns his/her mother language
  • This is a spontaneous learning method, where a person in a bank learns how to open and maintain an account.

Characteristics of informal education

  • It does not depend on boundary walls.
  • It has no definite syllabus.
  • It’s not planned and it doesn’t have a timetable.
  • We receive informal education through everyday experience and learning new things.
  • It’s a natural process that lasts a lifetime.
  • There are no degrees or certificates required. One does not have to stress about learning new things.
  • Any source, such as media, life experiences and friends, can provide information.

Benefits of informal education

  • Learning is more natural when you are able to learn from anywhere, at any time and from your everyday experience.
  • This involves personal and individual research on a topic that interests them using books, libraries, social media, the internet, or informal trainers.
  • Uses a variety techniques.
  • There is no time limit.
  • Learning is more cost-effective and takes less time.
  • There is no need to hire specialists as many professionals are willing to share their knowledge with students/public via social media.
  • The information can be accessed by learners through books, radio, television, or conversations with family members.

Informal Education: Disadvantages

  • Disinformation can be derived from information obtained via the internet, social media and radio, or through conversations with family members/friends.
  • Some techniques might not be suitable.
  • No proper schedule/time span.
  • Unpredictable outcomes are simply the result of time wastage.
  • Insufficient confidence in the learner
  • Discipline, attitude, and good habits are not important.

Non-formal Education

Non-formal educationIncludes adult literacy education, adult basic education, and school equivalency preparation.

Nonformal education is where someone can learn literacy, basic skills, and job skills.

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Other options include home education, individual instruction (such as programed learning), distance learning, and computer-assisted learning.

Non-formal education should be taught consciously, deliberately, and systematically. It should be designed for a homogeneous population. Education should be non-formal and tailored to the specific needs of the group. Flexibility in curriculum design and evaluation is essential.

Examples of non-formal education

  • Boy Scouts and Girls Guides offer a variety of sports programs, including swimming. This is non-formal education.
  • Programs for fitness.
  • Adult education courses that are community-based.
  • Some organization offers free courses in adult education.

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Characteristics of non-formal education

  • Nonformal education can be planned separately from the school system.
  • You can adjust the timetable and syllabus.
  • It is not a formal, theoretical education. Instead, it’s practical and vocational education.
  • There is no limit on the age of nonformal education.
  • Certificates and fees may be required.
  • You can learn full-time or part time, and you can also earn and share your knowledge.
  • This involves the acquisition of professional skills.

Benefits of non-formal education

  • Practical and vocational training.
  • Naturally developing minds that don’t wait for the system change to work.
  • Literacy and skillfulness development in which self-learning can be appreciated.
  • Flexibility in terms of age, curriculum, and time
  • An open-ended education system that both the public sector and the private sector can participate in.
  • There is no need to take regular exams.
  • To be awarded a diploma, certificate, or award, it is not necessary.

Advantages of non-formal education

  • Participants are not required to attend.
  • Sometimes it is just a waste of time. There is no need for the exam to be conducted on a regular basis, and no diploma/degree is given at the end.
  • It is important to have basic reading and writing skills.
  • There are no teachers who are qualified and certified.
  • Students might not have the same level of confidence as regular students.
  • For the sake of earning, some institutes offer fake certifications through online courses.

Analyse of Formal, Informal and Non-formal Education

This table illustrates the differences between formal, informal, and nonformal education.

Criteria for AnalysisFormal EducationInformal EducationNon-Formal Education
types of education
DefinitionFormal education refers to a structured and ordered training program that is controlled and organized by a set of laws and standards. It can be somewhat flexible in terms of goals, content, and procedure.Informal education, also known as casual or informal training, is distinct from formal training. It is especially different from non-formal and formal training. However it can be used in certain cases to maintain a close association with both. Informal instruction doesn’t include the subjects and destinations that are most commonly included in the traditional educational program.When the learner does not have to participate in the methodology, non-formal education is discovered. This reduces the contact between instructor and learner. Most exercises are done outside of school, such as home reading or desk work.
ExamplesLearn the necessary knowledge at educational institutions such as school, college and university.Discussions, learning outside of the classroom, and use of DVDs with educational lectures & TV programs.Adult education programs and sports programs for adults that are not creditable, offered by community associations, as well as online courses.
Contents of the courseCorrectly organize information based upon facts.Information in multidisciplinary fieldsSpecific domain knowledge
Types of activitiesFormal activitiesRoutine training
Calming activities
Activities that are not formal (aside from the school, classroom, and after getting a job)
The end resultPositive and projectiveProjected or projected?Positive and projective
Source for acquiring knowledgeSchools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutionsInternet, Social Media and Electronic/Print Media. Group discussion between friends/family members.Outside of the educational institution
Methods of learning knowledgeDirectIndividual, implicitDirect
AdvantagesA recognized certificate is issued after a structured, systematic and organized learning process that leads to a job.Learning naturally is a process that you learn from your daily experiences. It’s also less expensive and more time-efficient than hiring experts. You can learn from social media and electronic media as well as other sources.Practical and vocational trainings, Literacy and skillfulness growth, flexibility of age, curriculum, and time, with no regular exams.
AdvantagesA rigid and expensive education, long academic sessions, bad study habits, and unprofessional trainers can all lead to wasted time and money.Information that is not reliable, untimely, incongruent techniques, unpredictable results, lack of confidence, and lack of discipline as a learner are all factors.A non-regular student turnout is not permitted. No regular exam is given so that no certificate/degree is awarded at the conclusion of training sessions.
type of education

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