Education in its all-inclusive form goes beyond what takes places within the four walls of the classroom.

A child gets education from his experiences outside the school as well as from those within on the basis of these factors. So, there are mainly three types of education, namely, Formal, Informal and Non-formal. Each of these types is briefly described below.

(A) Formal Education



(i) Planned with a particular end in view.

(ii) Limited to a specific period.

(iii) Well-defined and systematic curriculum

(iv) Given by specially qualified teachers.


(v) Includes activities outside the classroom

(vi) Observes strict discipline.

(i) Planned with a particular end in view

Formal education is planned with a particular end in view. It is given in school, college and similar other institutions which are established with the purpose. In this way it is direct schooling, instruction and tuition.


(ii) Limited to a specific period

Formal education is limited to a specific period or stage. It is provided according to certain set rule and regulations. It is in the form of systematic, planned and guided instruction.

(iii) Well-defined and systematic curriculum

Forma education has a well-defined and systematic curriculum. This curriculum is based on certain aims and objectives. These aims are in conformity with the needs of the society and the state-.


(iv) Given by specially qualified teachers

Formal education given by specially qualified teachers they are supposed to be efficient in the art of instruction.

(v) Includes activities outside the class-room

In modern progressive schools, the process of education is not merely restricted the four walls of the class-room. There are more activities outside the class-room than inside it.


(vi) Observes strict discipline

Formal education observes strict discipline. The pupil and the teacher are both aware of the fact an engage themselves in the process of education.

It may, however, be mentioned that any process of teaching which involves supervision, instruction, set plan, definite aims and principles amounts to formal education.

(B) Informal Education



(i) Incidental and spontaneous

(ii) Not-pre-planned.

(iii) Not imparted by any specialised agency.

(iv) No prescribed time-table or curriculum.

(v) May be negative also

(i) Incidental and spontaneous

Informal education is incidents and spontaneous. There is no conscious effort involved in it. Courtesies gentleness, etc. learnt in a market place or in a hotel or in one’s sitting room amount to informal education.

(ii) Not-pre-planned nor deliberate

Informal education is an educative activity which is neither pre-planned nor deliberate. The child learns many habits, manners and patterns while living with others or moving in different spheres like home, society, groups etc.

(iii) Not imparted by any specialised agency

Unlike formal education, informal education is not imparted by any specialised agency such as school or college.

(iv) No prescribed time-table or curriculum

Informal education is not given according to any fixed time-table or through formal means of education. There is no set curriculum required. Informal education consists in experiences and actual living in the family or community.

(v) May be negative education also

Informal education may take to negative direction also. Instances are not rare when one learns stealing, or some other forms of misbehaviour from the experiences which the child may casually have in the street, in the market, in the cinema hall or in some other such place.

In the words of an expert, 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.”

(C) Non-Formal Education

Non-formal education is one of the recent concepts getting into use. Indian involvement in non-formal education has increased as a result of our interest in making education a life-long affair rather than a matter of formal schooling.


(i) Derived from the expression ‘formal education.

(ii) Outside the realm of formal education.

(iii) Conscious and deliberate.

(iv) To be organised for a homogeneous group.

(v) Serving the need of the identified group.

(i) Derived from the expression ‘formal education

The expression ‘non-formal’ in non-formal education has been derive from the expression ‘formal’ in formal education by using the pre-fix non-

(ii) Outside the realm of formal Education

Unlike inform education which is unstructured, spontaneous and without formality non-formal education would be structured and planned, but outside realm of formal education. “Any organised, systematic education activity, carried outside the framework of the established formal system whether operating separately or as an important feature of some broad activity, that is intended to serve identifiable learning clienteles ai learning objectives.”

(iii) Conscious and deliberate

Non-formal education consciously and deliberately organised and systematically implemented.

(iv) To be organised for a homogeneous group

Non-formal education should be organised for a homogeneous group. Such a grot has to be identified in terms of the learning needs of the group member

(v) Serving the need of the identified group

Non-form, education should be programmed to serve the needs of the identify group. This will necessitate flexibility in design of the curriculum and the scheme of evaluation.