Three types of education- Formal, Non-formal & Informal

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types of education

Education can mean various things to different people all over the world. Some people see education as classroom instruction, while others see it as a life-changing experience. Teachers and students, as well as parents, may have differing opinions on education. Do everyday experiences count as education, or are schools the only place to obtain them?

No, education’s importance is not limited to the four walls of a classroom, but can also be explored through various other platforms and self-learning. Although academic institutions such as schools and colleges continue to be important sources of education, the learning process begins at home. Let us learn about the three major types of education through this blog! But, before going in depth into the three types of education first take a look at what is education.

What is Education?

Education is the process of gaining knowledge, skills, habits, or values through a variety of methods such as training, teaching, discussion, research, and so on. It empowers people who have a sense of right and wrong. One can only get and achieve their goal if they have the proper information, mindset, and attitude. Furthermore, education provides one with the necessary tools to analyze one’s ideas and interests, as well as the ability to express them efficiently and successfully.

Education is a common and long-lasting factor that changes a person’s thinking and ability to achieve a specific goal. It encourages people to examine their thoughts and feelings and allows them to communicate in new ways.

We can clearly say “Education is the source of advancement”. It is also the path to our destiny because achievements must be refined when people have knowledge, abilities, and a positive frame of mind. Thus, training functions as a medium through which we can connect with various people and express our concerns. So, let’s get to the main point: what are the different types of education? There are several types of education, but we will focus on the three most common.

  • Formal types of education
  • Informal types of education
  • Non-Formal types of education

Formal types of education

You can say you’ve had formal types of education if you’ve completed the current regular schooling system, whether from a public or private school. This is the systematic method of learning in which a person attends a school or university and receives training from teachers who are trained and licensed to teach her what you need to know. Basically, the education is related to a school or college is also called non-advanced education.

While there are various types of schools (sectarian, non-sectarian, co-ed, all-boys, or all-girls), the fact that you attended one means that you were taught the same things that other students were taught. There may be some differences (for example, a private Catholic school may teach religion to their students while a public school does not), but all schools must follow a certain standard of quality based on factors such as how well students perform in standardized tests when compared to other schools. A few examples of Formal types of education are:

  • Learning in a classroom
  • School grading/certification, college and university degrees
  • A proper syllabus and planned education in various subjects obtained by attending the institution

Advantages of Formal Education

  • It is planned and organized.
  • It happens in a systematic, step-by-step manner.
  • It is the most fundamental knowledge that every person must obtain before learning anything else.
  • It is certified and obtained by professionals and educators.

Disadvantages of Formal Education:

  • Brilliant students can become bored due to the length of academic sessions.
  • Exams and grades can cause stress and anxiety at times.
  • It is both expensive and rigid.
  • A non-professional and non-standard education system can waste both time and money.

Informal types of education

This is the type of education in which a parent teaches child skills other than academics, such as cooking or riding a bicycle.

People can also obtain informal education by reading books or visiting educational websites. This is education that is not obtained through a proper learning method in schools. It is neither premeditated nor deliberate.

It is a type of experience gained through regular practice and observation of others. Some examples include teaching a child with certain basic personality traits, learning a mother tongue, participating in certain extracurricular activities, and so on. The few examples of Informal types of Education are:

  • Teaching the child the fundamentals such as numeric characters
  • Someone who is learning his or her mother tongue
  • A spontaneous type of learning occurs “when a person standing in a bank learns about opening and maintaining a bank account from someone.”

Advantages of Informal Education

  • Informal education is typically a very natural process that can occur anywhere and at any time.
  • Typically, Informal Education courses required regular practice and polishing.
  • Informal education is more flexible than other forms of education because there is no set time limit for learning something.
  • Informal education does not necessitate the involvement of a professional.

Disadvantages of Informal Education:

  • On various social media platforms, there is a lot of misinformation.
  • It does not follow an exact timetable or timeline.
  • Discipline and attitude are largely missing among the students.
  • The outcomes are highly unpredictable.

Non-Formal types of education

Non-formal learning is the intersection of formal and informal education. While structured learning exists, there is no approved syllabus or certification associated with formal learning. At the same time, it is more structured than informal learning, which occurs spontaneously.

Swimming lessons for young children, sports programs, Boy and Girl Scouts, adult education courses, sports programs, and seminars are all examples of this. These are intend to improve skills and appeal to interest while providing the advantages of both formal and informal learning. The few examples of Non-formal type of Education are;

  • Nonformal education includes sports programs developed by the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, such as swimming.
  • Fitness classes.
  • Adult education courses in the community.
  • Some organizations offer free adult education courses.

Advantages of Non-Formal Education

  • Non-formal education is typically available in both the public and private sectors.
  • Regular exams are not require in this type of education.
  • Diplomas and certificates are only for skill development and do not define your talent.
  • This type of education encourages students to put their theoretical knowledge into practice through skill development courses.
  • Advantages of Non-formal Education:
  • It is an open-ended educational system that is available in both the public and private sectors.
  • There is no need to obtain regular exams.
  • Diplomas, certificates, and awards are not require because it is primarily a skill development program.
  • It involves the practical application of theoretical knowledge.

Disadvantages of Non-formal Education:

  • Non-formal education does not require a professional or a trained teacher if you are learning it as a hobby.
  • There are no regular examinations to assess skill development.
  • There is a high possibility of fake certifications obtain from various institutions.


Formal, informal, and non-formal education are all various approaches to meeting a variety of learning demands. Formal education is structured, institution-based, and results in recognized qualifications, preparing students for further education and specialized jobs. Informal education, on the other hand, happens naturally in everyday life and builds practical skills and lifetime learning habits, frequently through experiences and relationships. Non-formal education fills in the gaps by offering structured yet flexible learning programs that target specific groups and learning objectives without necessarily leading to formal certifications. These modes of education, when combined, contribute to a comprehensive and adaptive learning ecosystem for personal and professional development.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the importance of education?

Education is critical for both personal and societal growth. It provides individuals with the knowledge and skills they require to succeed in life, encourages critical thinking and problem-solving skills, creates social cohesion, and contributes to economic growth and innovation.

What exactly is the purpose of formal education?

Formal education serves a variety of functions, such as giving foundational knowledge, preparing students for higher education or the workforce, supporting personal development, and cultivating responsible citizenship.

What are the advantages of continuing education?

The pursuit of information and skills throughout one’s life is referred to as lifelong learning. Its advantages include remaining relevant in a fast changing environment, improving employment chances, promoting personal well-being, and cultivating a curious and open-minded mindset.

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By Amina
Meet Amina, a passionate blogger, expert SEO writer, and talented part-time copywriter. With her website,, she dives deep into the realms of self-discovery, personal growth, and mental well-being. Amina's engaging articles provide valuable insights and practical advice to help her readers navigate life's challenges with confidence.
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