The key difference between non-formal and informal education is that non-formal education refers to the structured educational programs which take place outside of the formal educational classroom setting to develop the skills of the learners, whereas informal education refers to the unstructured education received by the learners from society.
Both non-formal education and informal education help people to learn various things and develop their skills. At the same time, the learners are able to receive hands-on experience through these two types of education systems.
What is Non-Formal Education?
Non-formal education is the education that occurs outside of a formal learning classroom setting. Although non-formal education takes place outside of formal classroom settings, learners receive a well-structured and well-planned educational program. Non-formal education provides learners with the opportunity to develop different skills and abilities.
Non-formal education can be delivered in places like sports clubs, drama clubs, scouting, seminars, and conferences. Since education given in these institutions is well-structured, it directly affects the development of the social skills of learners. At the same time, non-formal education is learner-centered. It allows the learners to discuss and share their opinions with peers and provides a sense of entertainment for the learners.
What is Informal Education?
Informal education can be described as a lifelong learning process. Informal education also takes place outside of the formal learning classroom setting. But informal education does not involve rigid and structured rules. The learners may get hands-on experience through informal education. Although learners learn theories in the classroom setting, they are provided with the opportunity to get hands-on experience through informal education.
Informal education does not have an exact time or place, and it is very natural. Informal education can be received in any place, for example, at home, neighbours, from mass media, as well as other different places in society. A child may get informal education even before he or she starts schooling. There are no specific trained teachers or instructors to deliver informal education, and anybody can be a teacher. In addition, informal education does not have a standardized curriculum.
What is the Difference Between Non-Formal and Informal Education?
The key difference between non-formal and informal education is that non-formal education takes place outside of the traditional learning classroom setting and consists of well-planned and structured educational programs, while informal education does not have structured and standardized programs or curricula. Furthermore, the other difference between non-formal and informal education is that non-formal education is delivered by trained instructors, whereas informal education does not involve any well-trained instructors and teachers. Anybody can be a teacher in informal education.
Moreover, although non-formal education contains structured and organized content to deliver, informal education does not consist of a standardized curriculum. Also, though non-formal education adapts a learner-centered approach, informal education does not encourage a learner-centered approach.
Below is a summary of the difference between non-formal and informal education in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – Non-Formal Education vs Informal Education
The key difference between non-formal and informal education is that non-formal education denotes the structured and planned educational programs that take place outside of the traditional learning classroom setting, whereas informal education refers to the unstructured and formless education received by learners in any place of society. Both non-formal and informal education systems contribute to the skill development of learners. Although non-formal education system sticks to a planned program, informal education does not consist of any rigid rules like formal and mom-formal education systems.
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