Non-Formal Education may be differentiated from the conceptual framework of formal education and informal education. The NFE is lifelong and with flexible points of entry, while formal education is finite and limited to a period meant for teaching and learning, with fixed point of entry and exit.

In formal education acquisition of knowledge is the goal; in non-formal education, the goals understand one’s needs environment and social relationships. Non-formal education develops an open-end critical and self reliant awareness.

It is a process of sharing, exploring, analysing and judging together. There is maximum participation of the learner. It is need based and future oriented. NFE is “any organised, systematic, educational activity, carried outside the framework of the established formal system, whether operating separately or as an important feature of some broader activity that is intended to serve identifiable learning clientele and learning objective”.

Informal education is “the process, by which a person imbibes attitudes, develops skills, cultivates values and acquires knowledge without there being any organisation or system about it.


This would include the deliberate attempts of parents and elders in the family and community to help the young ones grow and adapt themselves to the environment.

Informal education would also include all incidental learning that takes place while at work or at play and during travels as well as spontaneous learning through films, radio and television.”