The non- formal education is like a formal institution in shape but the spirit is individual – centric and learner- centric. It gives first priority to the choice , needs and problems of the learner and provides good and systematic education to a larger groups through various modes. There are many agencies of education among which non – formal is also one of them. Agencies of education is the gateway through which the objective of education is realized. Among other agencies of education, non-formal agencies are called the agencies of mass education.

Formal education has little scope for mass education. Informal education is aimless and ambiguous. But non-formal is the real hope to  minimize the gap between both the formal and informal and make balance between both. So , in order to give and provide liberal , flexible , standard , cheap and qualitative education as per the need of the individual , society and the country , non-formal education is the best way.

There are certain characteristics of non- formal education. It is purposefully and systematically created and has a clear cut goal to provide education to the mass, it is very flexible and liberal type of education taking the numerous differences of individual into account, etc.

Now we are in a stage of information explosion. Everyone wants to get an education and to educate the society. So school cannot provide opportunity for all in different education. It is also a difficult task for the government to accommodate all in the formal classroom. Therefore non- formal education is an innovative idea to provide need based various types of education through suitable and easy means. It takes the support of mass media for the education of mass. Universalism  of education and the mission of the country i.e. 100% literacy can be possible through non-formal education. It helps 6 -14 age groups dropouts to continue their education and to eradicate illiteracy.

It is to take on a leisure time activity for the education to make their education a lifelong affair. So the non-formal education can educate all by imparting knowledge , development skills and promoting social values among them. It is the evolution of education in a new form in the society. In educational literature , the study of alternative education systems often mentions ‘’open system’’, ‘’non-formal education’’, ‘’distance learning’’. ‘’non – conventional studies’’, among other terms. In some cases these are employed as synonyms, whereas there is no other, there is no agreement as to their meanings, making it impossible to reach a consensus for their concepts. A more precise definition of such concepts is fundamental, as is their possible classification, aimed at better understanding and practical utilization. We shall therefore analyse the concept of formal, non-formal and informal education , in an attempt to define their features , advantages , limitations and inter – relations.



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