Monday, November 19, 2018 | ePaper

Importance of non-formal education

  • Print


Abu Sayeed Shakil :
Non-formal education is a flexible type of education, which provides knowledge and skills to a particular group of learners required to perform better in a particular job. Formal education cannot always provide all the necessary knowledge and skills, which have immediate demand in the job market. Formal education is organized to enable the learners to be able to act in a particular situation. In another words, an educational project arranged for a particular group of learner in order to fulfill their special requirements is called non-formal education. Our formal education system does not have much flexibility; it is centrally governed; and it does not have flexibility to practise skills needed to act and react in the society properly. That is why non-formal education is mostly needed. Though non-formal education does not have anything to do with certificates or anything like that, it is very useful for smoothen our everyday life because non-formal education is designed based on the demand of the learners.
In our country, we can see many of our people remain excluded from formal education because of poverty and other reasons. In the school-going age, many children have to work for supporting their family. So they have to remain away from formal education. And after a certain age, they cannot get the primary education even if they want to. That is where non-formal education is unique because non-formal education system does not have any age limit. Any one from any age group can join if they want. It is more like a part-time education system. In formal education system students have to follow the time-table of an institution, but in non-formal education system the institution actually follows the time table of the learners as the learners here have to join the required course after managing other jobs or activities. So when a learner gets free time, they can come for their education. It does not matter if it is at night or any time of the day. Instead of a long term curriculum, it prefers very short term curriculum focusing on the knowledge and skills gaps of the learners. There is no specific target group for non-formal education, it could be younger people or adults.
According to UNESCO (2010), non-formal education helps to ensure equal access to education, eradicates or minimizes illiteracy among women and improve women's access to vocational training, science, technology and continuing education. Examples of non-formal education include swimming sessions for children, life skills learning, community-based sports programs, and some programs developed by organizations such as the Boys scouts, community or non-credit adult education courses, sports or fitness programs and professional development programs. In our villages, we sometimes see that some organizations are spreading awareness among the village people about many kind of common things such as, HIV virus, pregnancy, cholera etc. It is also an example of non-formal education. Computer training, English language training, outsourcing training are the some of the popular areas of non-formal education of current time.
Nowadays there is a lot of jobs that require computer operating skill. Department of Youth Development recently offers free computer training course in all 64 districts. People living in the rural areas, are getting computer training by Youth Training Academy. There are also some other courses offered by the Youth Training Academy such as job skills, fisheries, agricultural training. That non-formal education or training is helping our youth to stand on their own feet.
Our Government had taken many steps to improve non-formal education in the country. With the establishment of the Directorate of Non-formal Education (DNFE) in 1995, the Government of Bangladesh initially commissioned four large scale projects to offer literacy to children, adolescents and adults through developing partnership with NGOs. In 1991, through the General Education Project, the Govt. of Bangladesh supported 17 NGOs to offer NFE programs. In 1992, the Govt. of Bangladesh decided to attach more emphasis on NFE and Mass Education, which led to the establishment of the Directorate of Non-Formal Education (DNFE). So far as I know, that directorate of non-formal education is not fully functional at present. However, some organizations are doing a lot to spread the non-formal education and contributing to the development of the country.
 In our country there are over 700 NGOs working to provide non-formal education to different groups of people. The leader among the NGO-run NFE (Non-Formal Education) program in Bangladesh is BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, recently renamed as Building Resources Across Communities). BRAC introduced a Non-Formal Primary Education (NFPE) model that has been replicated by many other NGOs in Bangladesh. This primary education model has brought a lot of success in primary level education.
As a result of wide-spread non-formal education, we will have many well-trained and skillful people who will be capable of performing various kinds of work. And it will have a huge impact on our economic growth.
 The youth will be self-reliant and as a result our economy will grow faster. Some of our skillful people will get some job in foreign countries, and our country will get a huge amount of remittance. If we can have a good number of free-launchers, actually possible to have, it could be a big source of remittance for our country.
So our government should attach more importance to this sector because it could be very valuable for the development of the country and it also will help to fill-up the gaps of formal education system. In order to spread the non-formal education throughout the whole country, we have to provide free text books, build temporary structures for teaching and training, train teachers to work there, provide scholarships to learners to encourage learners in good numbers. If non-formal education implemented properly, it will help to reach the development targets of 2030.

(The writer is a 1st year student studying Bachelor of Education at Government Teachers' Training College, Dhaka)

More News For this Category

Skills to be a fashion industry manager

Skills to be a fashion industry manager

Alyssa Walker :If you are into fashion and business, the multibillion dollar industry of fashion management is the path for you. Fashion marketing managers have the huge yet exciting

Definition of kilogram set to change

Definition of kilogram set to change

Pallab Ghosh :Scientists are set to change the way the kilogram is defined. Currently, it is defined by the weight of a platinum-based ingot called "Le Grand K" which

Mental health crisis in graduate education

Mental health crisis in graduate education

Joanna Hughes :Stress and anxiety are not new phenomena for students. However, according to a recent article published in the academic journal Nature Biotechnology, there is evidence of a

Make the most of your laptop as a student

Laptop learning has gotten a bad rap lately. A growing body of evidence indicates that using devices, including laptops, tablets, and phones, during class may lead to everything from bad

Why jewelry designers are studying in Rome

Studying jewelry design is a creative and sophisticated way to transform your passion into a career. The profession requires a real level-up from your regular jewelry making practice: the development

Enhancing teaching effectiveness

Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed :There are factors and principles for enhancing effectiveness. Evaluating teaching is a prime factor for teaching effectiveness. Each year faculty members in institutions of higher education

DIU to observe Global Entrepreneurship Week

Campus Report :Daffodil International University (DIU) is going to observe Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2018 through week-long program from 12-17 November. Project Director of A2i Project of PMO will inaugurate

Do people more accurately perceive their own intelligence?

Do people more accurately perceive their own intelligence?

Joanna Hughes :We've all heard the expression, "Men are from Mars and women are from Venus." However, according to recent research published in the journal, Advances in Physiology Education,

Should comics be allowed in school library?

Should comics be allowed in school library?

Ramisa Maliha Bhuiyan :Comics have always been a controversial issue. Some people are vehemently against these, while others are all for these. I belong to the latter group, and

Language and literature in public opinion

Language and literature in public opinion

Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed :Journalism is devoted to purveying to the readers news and views which are mainly political, economic and social. It is a very powerful medium of