Difference Between Formal and Informal Education

Formal vs Informal Education

We all think we know about education as being the one imparted in schools around the country. This system of education, devised by the government and based upon a curriculum is called the formal system of education. However, in most countries, there is also an informal system of education that is totally different from school education and has nothing to do with the strict curriculum and other obligations found in formal education. There have always been long standing debate as to the usefulness or otherwise of the informal education, and it has also been compared with formal education on various features. Let us take a closer look.

Formal Education

The education that students get from trained teachers in classrooms through a structured curriculum is referred to as the formal system of education. Formal education is carefully thought out and provided by teachers who have a basic level of competency. This competency is standardized through formal training of teachers, to provide them with a certification that may be different in different countries.

Formal education is imparted mainly in modern science, arts, and commerce streams with science stream later getting divided into engineering and medical sciences. On the other hand, there are also specialization of management and chartered accountancy that students can take up in higher studies after completing 16 years of formal education.

Informal Education

Informal education refers to a system of education that is not state operated and sponsored. It does not lead to any certification and is not structured or classroom based. For example, a father giving lessons to his son to make him proficient in a family owned business is an example of informal education. Informal education is, therefore, a system or process that imparts skills or knowledge that is not formal or recognized by the state.

This education is also not organized or structured like it is in formal education.

Learnings from incidents, radio, television, films, elders, peers, and parents get classified as informal education. Informal learning helps little ones to grow and adapt to the ways and traditions of the society, and they learn to adapt to the environment in a much better manner.

What is the difference between Formal and Informal Education?

• Formal education is recognized by the state as well as industry and people tend to get job opportunities on the basis of level of formal education they have achieved

• Informal education is not recognized by the state but is important in the overall development of the individual. This system of learning is mostly incidental and verbal and not structured like formal education

• The teachers in formal education receive formal training and given responsibility to teach based upon their competency

• Formal education takes place in classrooms while informal education takes place in life

There is a specially designed curriculum in formal education while there is no curriculum and structure in informal education