What is Non-Formal Education?
Learning and education are at the forefront of society from the first day we are brought into this world, to the last day we have the privilege to experience it. Cross-culturally, development is seen as an element of life that is necessary to achieve be it from simply walking, to being able to hold an abstract conversation. As a result, it can be argued that development and the presence of education in one’s life go hand in hand. We learn with every experience we have, without learning and education we would be nothing.
As education became mandatory, how one learnt became a focus of research and it was determined that there are three means by which an individual learns, forming a spectrum that started with informal education all the way to formal education. Informal education is characterised by the knowledge and skills acquired from daily experience and one’s environment. Here we see learning without structure, building as we live our lives. On the other side of the spectrum is formal education, this is what many consider to be a vital element in a child’s learning, through the school system that delivers a national curriculum. Formal education is limited to academic study and is both hierarchical and chronologically graded. It must be noted that school is only one element in the many that can contribute to learning and from this, the notion of non-formal education came about. By accepting how learning can and must take place outside of an institution, non-formal education encompasses any organised educational activity that operates outside the boundaries of a formal institution.
Non-formal education serves to tackle specific learning objectives, in a flexible way. Priorities seen in a non-formal program includes elements of a practical and environment based focus. This allows programs to become less centred on teachers and resources, and instead, put the learners and their needs first allowing them to gain skills and learn naturally. It is important to expose learners to programs that hold these principles as it builds a genuine love for learning that is essential in today’s knowledge-based society. Non-formal programs give rise to the notion of lifelong learning and those who participate are able to value innate curiosity and always seek to learn on a practical level. Not only will this lead to a greater understanding of content taught through formal means, adopting a learning approach to life leads individuals to draw on the myriad of resources available to us and make connections in all we see, learning at every step and therefore building a knowledge base that is unique and not bound by the social limits set by institutions.
Programs that fall under this category of learning can include many disciplines from honing one’s public speaking skills to learning how to play an instrument. It is unfortunate that the conventions of those who dictate what is important when educating learners do not realise the importance of this type of learning. Nonetheless, a focus must be placed on this to ensure learners are well-rounded and are ready for all aspects of the world we live in. By accepting the need for further efforts in education, we can begin to unlock the full potential of those who populate society instead of quashing their passions and leading them to aspirations that may not have their interests at heart.
Why? Education aims to promote the notion of lifelong learning through keeping non-formal education at our core. Our goal in all that we do is to create purpose based programs that are flexible to be adapted to the individual differences of our educators. By doing this, we ensure that not only are our programs specific but also that they evolve with the changing demands of our fast-paced society, empowering our educators to spread their knowledge and passion by delivering the content they want to deliver. With our new educational concept, KEMJO, we strive to bring learning English into the real world.
Our array of services serve to complement traditional instruction through non-formal education. The educators that choose to bring us into their classrooms and homes will reap the benefits of changing their perspective on how we educate. Their learners will open their eyes to the vast world around them all the while boosting their English proficiency confidence.
Head to www.whyeducation.co.uk/about to learn more about KEMJO and sign up to be a KEMJO Educator!