Non-Formal Education - Its Strengths and Limitations

Non-Formal Education

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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.

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 organization.
  • Distance education and extension education programs through Open University.
  • Home education, individualized instruction (such as programmed learning), and computer-assisted instruction are other possibilities. 

Key features 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.

Strengths of Non-formal Education

  • Practiced and vocational training.
  • Naturally growing minds that do not wait for the system to amend.
  • Literacy with skillfulness 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.

Limitations 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.
  • Some institutes provide fake certification through online courses just for the sake of earning.

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