What is Non-formal education system?

Non-formal education system has got many similarities as well as some differences from formal education system. Non Formal Education: Any organized educational activity outside the established formal system. whether operating separately or as an important feature of some broader activity that is intended to serve identifiable learning clienteles and learning objectives.

Reasons for the emergence of non-formal education can be summed up as follows:

  • Unsuitable curricula of formal education.
  • Realization that educational growth and economic growth are not going on hand in hand.
  • Jobs could not be created directly as a result of educational inputs.
  • Difficulty in paying for the expansion of formal education.
  • Inability of formal education stem to cope up with socio-economic changes around them.
  • Non-formal education was more suitable from the perspective of landmark report of the International Education Commission 1972, ‘learning to be’.
  • American Educationist, Ivan Illich pointed out that formal education system is redundant and is not able to meet the learning requirements of human beings.

Characteristics of Non-formal Education System

Goals and Objectives: Non-Formal Education Programs have some specific objectives that it aims to attain. It might have an objective that those who can’t afford regular study as they have to work as well for their livelihood. Must also get an equal opportunity to continue their education.

Timing: Non-Formal Education Programs are run for a relatively shorter duration, but are repetitive in nature.

Curricular experiences: Curriculum for non-formal education system is more individualized and not so broad. It is general in nature. For example, family planning awareness programs will be more individualized as per the social environment of particular locality.

Teaching-Learning Process: In non-formal education system the teaching-learning process is not so formal. It is flexible and learner-oriented.

Administrative Mechanism: The lectures, classes, curriculum, mode of transmission, timing of classes etc. are all organized keeping in mind the convenience of organizers as well as learners

Assessment of Learning Objectives: Non-formal education system also makes use of formative as well as summative tools of evaluation to check the level of learning amongst students.

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