There are no clear-cut forms of education. Generally, education is discussed as three types, i.e. formal, informal, and nonformal.

Formal Education
It is a preplanned, direct, and systematically, organized activity provided in specific educational institutions, such as schools and colleges. In formal education, there are well defined goals or objectives of curriculum. Teaching is conducted by highly qualified and trained teachers and strict discipline is observed. There is always examination towards the end and awarding of certificate occurs after the successful completion of the course. It can be said that formal education is based on rules, customs, and procedures. It is consciously and deliberately planned for modification of behavior with a particular end result. Formal education takes place in schools, colleges, and institutions specially established and maintained for educational activity.
The influence of formal education is systematic, definite, and permanent. There is a systematic method of evaluation. Therefore, the results of formal education can be predicted. It can be said that the proper progress of human beings is possible only through formal education.

Informal Education
It is not a systematically planned or deliberate activity. Most of the time, it is incidental and spontaneous. In informal education, the main emphasis is given on formation or development of habits, ideas, attitudes, or skills. Learning occurs as a result of experiences grained from day-to-day life or by interactions with others. It is causal and one gains knowledge through daily experience and activities. There are no specific agencies like’s schools or colleges to impart education to the students, it is rather provided by informal agencies such as home, family, or community. There is no well-defined curriculum. No specifically qualified personnel to teach and there is no evaluation system like examination and conferring certificates or degrees to the students. Modification in behavior is seen spontaneously or out of necessity without having any conscious efforts for it. Learning as a result of this informal education starts at birth and continues till death.

Nonformal Education
Nonformal education has a middle path to follow. It is somewhere in between formal and informal types of education. Therefore, it shares some of the characteristics of both types of education. Nonformal education is considered to be a highly flexible system without rigid rules, regulations and time frame. It is systematically planned, organized, implemented, and integrated with day-to-day activities and works of the learner.
This kind of education is designed to meet the learning needs of different categories of persons in the society. Some of the examples of nonformal education are correspondence courses, distance learning, open schools, continuing education programmes, etc. There has been increasing use of technology in formal education. Top leaning, web-based leaning, and teleconferencing/telelecturing/ videoconferencing are examples through which nonformal education is possible.
Success of nonformal education depends upon student’s desire to learn and progress, level of motivation among the students, autonomy on the part of learner in terms of freedom of time, and upon place and pace of learning. People seeking nonformal education may opt for postal or correspondence courses. They learn at their leisure time, getting guidance through postal tuitions, contact programmes via teleconferencing, etc.


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