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Non formal education in today's world

Updated on February 3, 2015

Non formal education and innovation


The teaching of school children usually takes an approach of the teacher. It depends how the learning would matter for individuals. There are many aspects to consider. An education system must be able to satisfy the following conditions;

  • It has to be available to many, if possible for all children, youth and adults.
  • It has to be according to life needs of the learner.
  • It should give citizens who are useful for themselves and society. It may also be called effectiveness.
  • The process should be efficient to provide services to many.

Given the education system if it fulfills the above conditions would be formally ascertained to be complete. If non formal education would fulfil these conditions, it is complete while the formal educational system by fulfilling these conditions is a proper school system itself. The pioneers of non formal education were all great innovators and non formal education just cannot survive without innovation. People like John Dewey, Paulo Freire, Malcolm Knowles, Ruby Kidds etc. were great personalities not only because they were innovators but because they did so in non formal education itself. Experience in many countries has suggested that those nations which undertook non formal education deliverance made out to be better educated like China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. Education becomes that much more relevant, effective, efficient and universal.

The benefits of non formal education are many. On the other hand, one can distinguish factors associated with learning tool and assess the available methods in non formal education. The methods of non formal education are relevant to design of learning by doing, process oriented training and learning as partners. Learning is on social communication, not any set procedure and communications between learners as a collaborative effort. Self education is also relevant to openness, learner Centricity and participations. Necessity of constantly adjusting and re-evaluating one‘s own set of ideas leading in general to a plurality of practices, centrally focused on learner evaluation as well as voluntary nature of participations. Thus we observe non formal education as one wherein the individual gets trained for voluntary participation in activities which are central to individual learning with openness, participation, learning from doing. Thereupon the main fields of action are ascertainable to be the best way to get trained in social and personal skills as well as involvement in social and political processes. These fields of activity are ;

  1. Feelings and social relations
  2. Gender sensitive work
  3. Language, communication and media
  4. Creativity
  5. Environment
  6. Value orientation and participations

A number ofsuch available best techniques in imparting non formal education have been devised. Some of these are the way of public lecture, demonstration, discussion, role playing, handson which is experiential. There are many other methods available as well. Learning in the present context from non formal education is supposed to help render or instill the following;

  1. Self-determination
  2. Participation in societal development
  3. The individual‘s assuming of responsibility

The varied activities and tasks of learning, education and childcare have become re-divided between the family, childcare structures, leisure time and schools. This development of a unique intermeshing of learning, edu­cation and childcare in the vision of the “competent child and youth” thereby influences to produce a vivid, modern and extended understanding of learning. One cannot so presume success to be achieved at every step of learning. Though learning by the success motivation is one great accomplishment it is not the end itself. Learning is a comprehensive procedure which involves the process of development, unfolding of skills for learning, developing performance potential, ability to act, resolve problems and anyhow shape effective relations. By imparting education to children in this way is not the easiest of tasks while it is only not the priority of schools. Bringing success to life and from social integration is likely to be built from learning processes in a family setting or a day care center. Even while we accord more importance to school as central to teaching, it could extend beyond school and happen anywhere. By building a repertoire of non formal education method which are helpful in self determining, participatory and impacting sense of responsibility, the issue of including caselets and case studies could be an important step. The option of using caselets in education from charts, graphs, discourses, can be and usually differentiated from other methods. This is more likely to be a proactive activity in hands of teacher to inculcate and integrate learning by doing. Though the collaborative nature is in hands of instructor, both self determination and responsibility are seeping through this process.

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