Difference Between Formal & Informal Education

Formal vs Informal Education

Education is often thought of as the knowledge imparted in schools. This government-devised system, based on a curriculum, is known as the formal education system. However, most countries also have an informal education system, which is different from school education and does not adhere to the strict curriculum and other obligations found in formal education. There has long been a debate on the usefulness of informal education and how it compares to formal education. Let’s take a closer look.

Formal Education

Formal education refers to the education students receive from trained teachers in classrooms through a structured curriculum. Teachers in formal education have a basic level of competency, which is standardized through formal training and certification that may vary in different countries.

Formal education is mainly imparted in modern science, arts, and commerce streams, with the science stream later divided into engineering and medical sciences. Additionally, students can pursue specializations in management and chartered accountancy in higher studies after completing 16 years of formal education.

Informal Education

Informal education is a system of education that is not state-operated or sponsored and does not lead to any certification. It is not structured or classroom-based. For example, a father teaching his son how to run a family-owned business is an example of informal education. Informal education is a system or process that imparts skills or knowledge that is not formal or recognized by the state.

Informal education is not organized or structured like formal education. Learning from incidents, radio, television, films, elders, peers, and parents are classified as informal education. Informal learning helps children grow and adapt to societal ways and traditions, enabling them to adapt to their environment more effectively.

Key Takeaways

  • Formal education is recognized by the state and industry, and individuals often receive job opportunities based on their level of formal education.
  • Informal education is not recognized by the state but is important for an individual’s overall development. This learning system is mostly incidental and verbal, unlike the structured nature of formal education.
  • Teachers in formal education receive formal training and are given teaching responsibilities based on their competency. Formal education takes place in classrooms, while informal education takes place in life.
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen is a talented writer with a flair for developing captivating content in a range of formats. Her commitment to thorough research and producing top-notch material has contributed to over 4 years of professional writing and editing experience. Outside of work, Maria finds pleasure in solitary activities and immersing herself in nature. Her introspective nature and passion for self-reflection inspire her creativity. She believes that spending time alone and observing the natural world can provide valuable insights and foster personal growth, broadening her perspective as a writer.


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