Difference Between Formal Education And Non-Formal Education

Education is an important concept that has shaped the way we live today. It not only helps us to learn new things, but also improve upon our existing knowledge. Education helps us grow as individuals and also enriches our society as a whole. If one is not happy with their education, there are many aspects that can affect the learner such as behaviour problems, low self-esteem, poor academic performance, low self-confidence, and even psychological disorders such as depression, fear of losing control, withdrawal from friends and social groups, and other negative emotions.


There are three major types of education: formal, informal, and private education. Formal schooling occurs in schools, colleges or universities. Formal education generally lasts for four years at a university. Formal schooling generally involves teaching, study, demonstration, discussion, and supervised research. For those who wish to pursue higher education, formal schooling will provide the necessary foundation to better their education.

Informal education is often seen as the “side” of formal education. Informal education usually takes place outside of formal school settings. Many children start attending kindergarten classes before completing the five-year compulsory schooling program. In informal education, children learn most effectively through interactive and experiential methods, which are more suited to their learning style.

Private education is most often self-taught or taken through homes. It does not involve a strict classroom setting and is commonly called private education. The curriculum consists of books, workbooks, lesson plans, lectures, activities, quizzes, tests, notes cards, computer work and other related reading material and activities. Students can self-select books, but the majority of work is provided through a teacher-approved syllabus.

An environment within a formal education is defined by fixed rules and discipline. The learning process follows a prescribed order and is a significant part of the curriculum. Learning activities progress from the most basic level to more complex levels with a focus on the learner’s progress toward a goal. An organized system of teaching and learning allows for learners to progress through the course at their own pace. A formal education also requires periodic review and assessment of a student’s performance based upon established criteria.

The learning process in both formal education and non-formal education involves a structured process. In formal education, a set of predetermined and uniform rules and procedures are applied to the various aspects of the curriculum. In non-formal education, a variety of approaches are used to establish classroom rules and to facilitate the flexibility of the learning process.