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According to Stephen Diana, the word Education has been derived from the Latin term Educatum which means the act of teaching or training. A group of educationists say that it has originated from another Latin term "Educere" which means "to lead forth" or "to come out". According to a few others, it comes from another Latin word "Educare" which means "to bring up" or "to raise". All these meanings show that education seeks to nurture the good qualities in man and make last the best in every individual. There are three types of education which are formal, non-formal and informal education. These concepts of education are vary and each concept has its own purpose and characteristics. This essay will focus on the first two education concepts which are formal and non-formal education.
Formal and Non-Formal Education
Formal education is a contiguous learning process which means it involves the teachers, the students and the institution. Basically, formal education is more systematic and organized education model compared to non-formal education. According to Stephen & Diana (2009), the administration and curriculum of formal education institutions like schools, colleges and universities are usually well organized and it require from students a minimum class attendance. Normally, formal education institutions also require their students to do assessments to test students' knowledge and to improve the education process of students. As example, students require to take tests, quizzes and final exam in order to complete their study and lecturers will examine the students' achievements to possible give them possible marks.
Bartlett & Burton (2007) claims non-formal education is any organized and systematic education activities for particular subgroup according to their needs and ambitions. Non-formal education is not limited to certain ages only and it is necessary for the people, who are ambitious to acquire certain knowledge such as farming and cooking. Differ from formal education that requires students' attendance, non-formal education does not require student's attendance and the connection between teachers and students are less compared to formal education. Most activities take place outside of the institution like home reading and paperwork. The education process flexible curricula as it follow the needs and interests of students.
The Differences between Formal and Non-formal Education
Formal education is absolutely differs from non-formal education. There are several differences between formal and non-formal education. The first one is regarding to the conceptual framework. While non-formal education is lifelong and with flexible points of entry, formal education is fixed and limited to a period meant for teaching and learning, with fixed point of entry and exit. It means non-formal education is a continuous learning process as it does not have limited time for student to acquire the knowledge. However, the learning process of formal education is fixed and students need to acquire the knowledge in specific time given. For example, the learning process of formal education for students who take degree, they are given 3 to 4 year to complete and pursue their study to the next level which is master level. As for non-formal education, they are not given any time limit for them to acquire the knowledge as their learning process is continuous.
Next is, in formal education, the acquisition of knowledge of is the goal while in non-formal education, the goals understand one's needs, environment and social relationships. In formal education, students learn just to pass the exam in order to complete their study. Their goal of knowledge acquisition is to get excellent in assessments, so that they can continue their study to the next level. Normally, students who acquire knowledge in formal education, after few years, they will forget what they had learnt. This is because they do not apply knowledge in their life. Differ from formal education, non-formal education develops an open-end critical and self reliant awareness. Non-formal education is not restrained by definite limits, restrictions, or structure and it can change because non-formal education is flexible. As example, in non-formal education, students do not have to follow a planned course of study like in formal education as non-formal education does not have it. Students are free to learn everything they want in non-formal education.
The most general difference between formal and non-formal education is the time scale. In formal education, the time scale is full time. It means that students who in formal education, they are not encourage to mix their life with work and study. Tuckman & Monetti (2011) state, in formal education, study is primary activity in their life. They have to study in order to pass the examination, so that they can get the certification from their institutions to get job after they graduate. Differs from formal education, non-formal education's time scale is part time. It is not compulsory to them to study for the whole day like students in formal education. Also, study is not their primary activity. If they are working, they just have concentrate on their jobs without worrying about study. They are free to go or not to go study whenever they want. Thus, we can say that time scale for non formal education is more pleasure than formal education.
The Development of Non-Formal Education in Malaysia
In Malaysia, it is not excessive to say that formal education is superior to non-formal education. People in Malaysia are always respect people who have formal education like degree, master and PhD rather than people who have non-formal education. The formal education is what most employers would prefer to see because it is easier to prove. Having a degree in a specific field will mean that you have certain knowledge that will translate into a better paying job and the company that is employing you getting a qualified person for the job. However, since years ago, the development of non-formal education in Malaysia is improving. For example, there are lots of non-formal education institutions was developed since years ago such as IKBN which stands for Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara, IKM (Institut Kemahiran MARA) that provide training and professional courses. Basically, in Malaysia, opportunities for non-formal learning generally take the form of workshop and on-the-job training programmes at various levels, which also comprise vocational and executive training.
How can Non-Formal helps National Development?
Nevertheless, in any effort to help the national development, educational institutions are considered as an important role. Sometimes people are too overly dependent their life to formal school, as if it can solve any deficiency that exists. Perhaps in terms of cognitive or scientific, formal schools have an important role. However, in terms of attitude formation, behaviour and values, the role played by the school depends on the support from institutions or other agencies in the community such as family, the media, and others. The IKBN's mission is to produce nation that has professional skills, good moral and manners, discipline and multi-tasking person. Here, we can say that non-formal education is not only provides training and professional courses, but also train their student to be a discipline and good nation so that they can contribute to Malaysia.
To sum up, both formal and non-formal education is important in today's life, especially in this modern world. Students need to acquire formal education because it is necessary for them to get jobs after they graduate as most employees nowadays prefer workers that have certificates from registered institution. However, non-formal education also important as it provides training and professional courses to help people learn certain skills such as painting, carving, farming, cooking and repair vehicles. It is not a problem to a formal education student to get non-formal education after they complete their formal study. By getting formal and non-formal education, student will be a better person as they do not only get knowledge from formal education, but they also learn skills that can help them a lot in their life.