Education, in its broadest sense, refers to the ways in which people learn skills and gain knowledge and understanding about the world, and about themselves. One useful scheme for discussing education is to divide these ways of learning into three types --- formal, informal and nonformal. Formal education is instruction given in school. It is often called schooling. In most countries, people enter a system of formal education during their early childhood. In this type of education, the people in charge of a school decide what to teach, and learners then study those things under the direction of teachers. Learners are expected to come to school regularly and on time., to work at about the same speed as their classmates, and to pass tests to show how well they have progressed. At the end of the year, successful learners move up to the next level, that is, to the next standard, form or grade. In the end, they may earn a diploma, a certificate, or degree as a mark of their success over the years. Informal education involves people learning while they go about their daily lives. For example, young children learn language simply by hearing others speak and by trying to speak themselves. In the same informal manner, they learn to dress themselves, eat with acceptable manner, ride a bicycle , make a telephone call, or operate a television set. Education is also informal when people try to find out information or to gain skills on their own initiative without a teacher. To do so, they may visit a book shop, library, or museum. They may watch a television show, look at a videotape, or listen to radio programme , or go into net. They do now have to pass tests. Nonformal education belongs somewhere between the formal and informal types. As in formal education, people using nonformal methods adopt planned and organized programmes. But nonformal education procedures are less tightly controlled than those of formal systems of schooling. For example, in countries whose population have included many people who could neither read nor write, a popular nonformal approach to literary has been the each-one-teach-one method. With this methods, educational leaders first prepare simple reading materials, then ask every individual who already can read to teach just one illiterate person to read the materials. After the illiterate has mastered the skill of simple reading, he or she must then teach one others illiterate person. By this nonformal approach, thousands of people have learned to read in such nations as China, Nicaragua, Mexico, Cuba and India.
Mostcountries spend a large amount of time and money to provide formal education for their citizens. At the end of the 1980’s , there were about 950 million students and 45 million teachers throughtout the world. This article deals with formal education as provided by school, colleges, universities, and other such institutions. Other organizations, such as the church, also provide formal education, for example at the seminaries or convents. The Scout and Guide movements provide a type of nonformal education. The school systems of all modern nations provide both general education and vocational education. Most countries also provide special education programmes for handicapped or gifted children. Adult education programmes are provided for people who wish to take up their education after leaving school. General education aims at producing intelligent, responsible, well-informed citizens. It is designed to transmit a common cultural heritage rather than to develop trained specialists. Almost all elementary education is general education. In every country, primary school pupils are taught skills they will use throughtout life, such a reading, writing, and arithmetic. They also receive instruction in a variety of subjects, including geography, history and science. In most industrial countries almost all young people continue their general education in secondary school. In most western...
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