Education is a thought full process by which the inner powers of the individual are developed. Education is verb broad in it true sense and is not confined to school experiences. But in a narrow sense education is a well-planned process. Education may be defined as a purposive conscious or unconscious psychological, sociological, scientific and philosophical process which brings about the development of the individual to the fullest extent and also the maximum development of society in such a way that both enjoy maximum happiness and prosperity. T. Reymont has rightly remarked –“Education is that process of development in which consists the passage of human being from infancy to maturity, the process whereby he adapts himself gradually in various ways to his physical, social and spiritual environment.”
There are three important types of education,
Formal Non-formal Informal
Formal education is that education where according to predetermined aims and methods of teaching, definite dozes of knowledge are thrust into the mind of a child at a specific place during a set duration of time by a particular individual.
E.g. Schools, universities etc.
Informal education is natural and incidental. There are no predetermined aims, curricula, methods, teachers and places where children receive informal education:
E.g.: Family, community, peer groups, etc.
Non-formal education is in-between the formal and informal types of education. It is midway because it is partly formal and partly informal it is both intentional and incidental.
E.g. Open school, open universities, correspondence course etc.
Sir Godfrey Thomas has written, “The whole of environment is the instrument of man’s education in the wildest sense. But in that environment certain factors are distinguishable as more particularly concerned, the home, the school, the church, press, the vacation, public life, amusement and hobbies”. Generally, of course, the process of education continues from birth to death, but some specific institution play more important part in it. All of these institutions are the agencies of education, and they include all these factors, bases, places or institutions, which have an educative influence upon the Child. Hence, the institutions, agencies and bases of education mean the same thing, and should be interpreted as such. Here are discussing about informal education and its agencies only.
Education for no formalities are observed is known as informal type of education. In this type of education there is modification of the behavior of the learner but no conscious efforts are made for it. Whatever it is learnt here is not preplanned. It is natural and incidental. Here neither the teacher nor the learner is conscious of the process of teaching learning. In this type of education there are no pre-determined aims, no definite curriculum no well thought methods of teaching, no qualified and trained teachers and no definite place of education. Here education is received by the company of friends, relatives, community etc. whatever as education is received plays a very important and significant role in the life of educate. Informal education complements the formal education which has a particular pattern. Education of this kind has no specific time or place at which it is provided. Even the educator is not fixed. All fixed syllabi, rules, formalities are absent from it. Education of this kind in the education one receives while playing in field, talking to family members in the house, roaming around somewhere, in fact everywhere. This kind of education never comes to an end. And it teaches the individual more than he ever learns through his formal education. A child learns many things when he comes in contact with new people. He discovers many new words when he goes to new places. This education that he receives cannot be evaluated as formal education can. Format education can be evaluated by some specific techniques and the quality and quantity of education imbibed by the educate can be known. But this is not true of informal education for there is no standard or measure in its case. It also does not provide the recipient with a certificate or a degree. Informal education is gradual process, for people learn a few things after years of experience. But the things learnt in this manner prove to be more valuable than all the degrees accumulated through formal education. Informal education is more general in nature.
CHARACTERISTICS OF INFORMAL TYPE OF EDUCATION
1. This type of education is informal because formalities are observed here.
2. No conscious efforts are made either by the teacher or the taught.
3. It is in no way pre-planned activity.
4. It is incidental.
5. No formal goals are fixed up.
6. No formal means are used to attain the goals.
7. There are no fixed or appointed teachers.
8. Here a situation might crop up where student may teach a teacher something.
9. There is no prescribed curriculum and no time table is observed.
10. There is none who organize this type of education.
11. There is no fixed place for it.
12. This type of education is never completed as there is no fixed syllabus.
13. There are no examinations of any type.
14. It is all a natural way of teaching –leaving.
Example: 1. A person goes to the play ground for physical exercise and there comes across someone who tells him very good ways of utilizing leisure time.
Example: 2. Courteous manners, gentleness etc learnt even in a marketplace in a hotel or in ones sitting room talking with others constitute informal education.
AGENCIES OF INFORMAL EDUCATION
The major agencies of informal education are the following.
A) HOME OR FAMILY
This is most true of the family, for the family makes a sizeable contribution to the child’s education, irrespective of the quality of this education. As a agency of education family should perform the following duties.
1. PLACES OF AFFECTIONS:
Every home fundamentally is a piece of affections especially for the younger ones. The head of the family or the elderly person in the home is a source of affection for others. They have their lovers for the younger. It is a different story that now due to disintegration of families, some youngsters have stated showing hatred for the elders. Naturally in such circumstances, there is to be decrease of affections. Through the system of education, there is need of receiving good old tradition like adoring the elders.
2. MAKES SOCIAL:
Every home makes the child more and more social in nature. In the home, there is interaction between the different members of the family. In the street, there is interaction with the children coming from neighboring homes. It develops the qualities of mixing with others.
One is also able to modify one’s behavior in accordance with others in whose contact one comes. It is but natural that children learn more from other children. So it is the peer-group that helps the child in becoming more and more social.
3. MAKES MORALLY SOUND:
The home teaches the child many things of morality. The child, is able to understand the importance of truth, honesty etc. All this is able to learn from the parents or the grand-parents. Besides, the company of good children also helps in this regard. Moral training is the basic function of the family.
4. IMPARTS EDUCATION:
The home educates the child directly or indirectly. The educated parents and other members of family who are educated are able to educate the younger’s directly. But in the case of uneducated parents, the home helps indirectly in educating them. Here education means all round developed of the child.
5. STATISTICS ECONOMICS NEEDS:
The home creates statistics economic needs of the child. Money is needed by the child for various activities. It is also needed for giving him right type of diet. All these facilities are provided by the parents. A good home makes earn money rightly and utilize it properly.
“Family is a well-knit economic unit”. In a good home, the child enjoys economic security. He finds himself free from any type of economic worries. All this helps the child have a balanced personality.
Recreation is also important for the proper growth and development of the child. At home, there is provision of recreation. Radio, T.V or other instruments of recreation are used in the homes. They provide the required type of recreation to the child.
7. HELPS IN PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT:
Parents are always careful about the health of their children. They try to provide the required type of diet. They inculcate among them the habits of cleanliness and sense of healthful living. They make the children work at the time of work and then allow them to play. Thus the home or the parents help in the proper physical growth and development of their children.
8. HELPS IN MENTAL DEVELOPMENT:
Full care is also taken at home for mental development of the children. Here mental development means development of mental power such as thinking, language development etc. The parents make efforts so that their children are able to use the mother tongue rightly in their expression. Intellectual development of this stage helps the children later on because their education largely depends upon it.
9. HELPS EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT:
Emotional development is very important for the proper growth and development of the child. The parents at home help a good dual in this regard. The child learns at home about emotional stability. The home develops in the child healthy and positive emotions like sympathy, affection, courage etc. Only well adjusted home environment helps in this direction.
10. HELPS RELIGIOUS DEVELOPMENT:
Religion and religious beliefs refine the personality of a child. The basic foundation of religion and spiritual faith are laid down at home. In fact, family is the only institution where religious development of the child can be ensured. From home child learns the basic fundamentals of spirituality. From home he gets a concrete form of religion.
India being a secular country, the duty of parents to impart religious education to the children becomes too important. Only religious environment of the family develops the duty of every home to create peaceful atmospheres in order to enable the boys and girls to drive pleasure by staying at home.
B) SOCIETY OR COMMUNITY
Society performs a number of educational functions which are briefly explained below;
1. ESTABLISHES SCHOOLS:
The society establishes the schools, maintains them and glorifies them .It educates the children and enables them to stand on their own feet. Besides, it also helps in bringing all round development of the children.
2. MAINTAINS STANDARD OF THE SCHOOLS:
The society helps the schools in maintaining good standards. It fixes up standards with the help of higher controlling authorities and then it verifies with the help of school, board or university whether the students have attained the desired goals or not.
3. HELPS IN ALL ROUND DEVELOPMENT OF INDIVIDUAL:
The society creates proper environment in the school so as to bring about different types of development of the learner-physical, moral, social, cultural, academic etc. Thus it makes the individual a fit person for the society.
4. SETS UP AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF EDUCATION:
It is needed at different levels of education. Then it checks their appropriateness. It also corrects them, reflexes them and redefines them if need arises there to.
5. PLANS NATIONAL SYSTEM OF EDUCATION:
The society prepare national scheme of education keeping in view the needs and requirement of the people. It also tries to find out whether the system is according to the aspiration of the people.
6. MAKE PROVISION OF SUITABLE CURRICULUM:
The society takes the opinions of experts and makes provision of suitable curriculum where the learner should be able to grow and develop fully so as to achieve the target fixed up by the society.
The society supervises the school and its various components with the purpose of bringing improvement in the school, teachers, students etc. Through regular supervision, it ensures proper and smooth functioning of the school. Thus it is also able to root out the ills and draw-backs of the school.
8. APPOINT COMMISSIONS AND COMMITTEES:
The society sets up commission and committees as per needs of the situations. The main purpose behind is overall improvement of the school.
9. PRESERVES TRADITIONS AND CONVENTIONS:
The society has its rich heritage, healthy traditions and conventions and it wants to preserve them. It does so by stabling museums art galleries. It does propagate good values through T.V, radio, News-papers, Magazines etc.
10. ENCOURAGES RESEARCH:
The society encourages research in various fields by supporting the financially so as to improve the teaching-learning environment of the school.
11. CO-ORDINATE DIFFERENT AGENCIES:
Society inters links school and home. It helps in making them realize that they can server many useful purposes. Schools exist but society makes them better and better. Home exists society tries to improve it. It provides them with guidance and thereby helps them do wonderful job for the betterment of the individuals. Surely this approach improves the home, improves the school and improves the society itself.
12. INCULCATES MORAL AND SPIRITUAL VALUES:
Society has in its store the cultural heritage of humanity. Moral and spiritual values are maintained by it. It tries to inculcate those values in the individuals. Honesty, sincerity, truth, simplicity of life and high thinking behaviors, hard working, fellow-feelings etc. are noble values. The society advocates and propagates these values among the masses.
State is also informal agency of education. The proper management of education is an important task of the state. Apart from school, family and society, state also educates as on as informal agency of education. People always learn something or other from the state without any definite rule, place or time. Briefly, the main duties of the state as an educational agency are given below.
· Instead of taking the place of the individual or the family, the state should help in the development of both.
· It is the duty of the state to establish its own schools and provide assistance to private schools.
· State is responsible for the change in the form of schools according to needs.
· State is to establish inter relationship among various agencies of education.
· It has to establish relationship among various schools in order to avoid wastage so that higher standard of education may established.
· It should prepare a list of minimum achievements for school and lay down broad guide-lines for them.
· State should keep education free from local cries by allowing some local elements to participate in the process of education but subordinating them to the national system of education.
· It should provide sound attitude to parents towards education.
· Arrangement of free and universal education for a definite period is an important task of the state.
· State is to take the responsibility of educational expenditure and persuade other institutions for this task.
· Proper arrangement of training for teachers is to be made by the state so that the standard of education many not full.
· State should give proper advice to educational institutions. State in expected to organize suitable committees and commissions for this purpose.
· State should pay special attention to the security of nation’s culture.
· State is expected to help inculcate feeling of duty to the nation in the minds of its citizens and it should contribute in the development of normal idea for social efficiency.
D) PEER GROUP
Peer in one who is equal in rank older boys and girls form groups of their peers called peer groups. As an agency, peer group seems insignificant but the hard fact in that it is a very significant one and it plays a very important role in education. In peer groups, there is better learning. Generally it is seen that what the student cannot learn from the teacher, the same thing he/she can learn easily and in a much better way in the peer group.
CHARACTERISTICS OF PEER GROUP
§ There is no difference between the rank and profile of the students who are in one group.
§ They are free to take in any one of their colleagues and also vice-versa.
§ There in element of freedom and there is no fear of any soft.
§ They are able to give an outlet to their pent up feelings
§ When there is no suppression of feelings, mind works without any type of compulsion.
There is inborn type of motivation which ensures good LEARNING BY ALL IN THE GROUP.
FUNCTIONS OF THE PEER GROUP
In the peer group, everybody learns how to behave with each other and how to live well in the group and how to make their group strong. Good interaction takes place there.
2. MODIFICATION OF BEHAVIOR:
Peer group helps in modifying the behavior of the individuals of the group. The simple reason being that there is free and frank. In the self created environment, everybody comes out as better individual with modified behavior.
3. WE- FEELING:
We-feelings are inculcated in the individual of the peer groups. The individuals feel that they belong to one group. The feel more secured. Fellow feelings are born in them. With their togetherness, they find themselves stronger.
4. HELP IN ALL ROUND DEVELOPMENT:
Unlike class room learning the peer group provides the individuals full freedom and more opportunities of mixing each other. They are able to learn together, they are able to play together. They are able to have better instruction with one another. All this helps in all round growth and development of the individuals.
5. TEACH THEM TO WORK INDEPENDENTLY:
Peer groups instill in the individuals as way of life where they become self dependent.
E) MASS MEDIA
Media used for the masses to communicate something is known as mass media. Radio TV, Film News papers etc; serve the purpose of mass media. In our country, the chief faction of these media is informal education.
Although films have some other purpose to achieve, we can also learn something from them. Children learn many things from the films. People also listen to the message of the actors. Film can promote social welfare if they screen good stories and adopt techniques suiting the needs of society. Scientific and informative documentary films shown by other institutions are also very educative.
In our daily life we learn something from radio programmer. We receive sufficient education from the speeches on different subjects delivered by the great scholar. Now radio program organizers sometime arrange for well planned education to be impacted to different age groups of people. Some programmers’ are especially meant for school children some for women-folk, some for teachers and so on. Sometimes, some education talk of some great person is relayed from all radio station. Radio does educate us informally.
Children can use visual as well as auditory sense organs in enjoying TV programs which are not only source of recreation but also of education. TV educates us informally and sometimes TV education is more effective then school education.
We get some new experience by reading daily news papers, weekly papers, fortnightly and monthly margarines, annual or half yearly journals and various bulletins.
F). OTHER AGENCIES
Children are naturally interested in games. Adults are also interested in play. By means of games and sports feelings of co-operation honesty and love are developed in children. This is also an important informal agency of education.
LIBRARY AND READING ROOM:
Libraries and reading rooms provide education by making available various papers, journals, magazines, great reference books and books on many subjects for reference study.
SOCIAL EDUCATION CENTRE:
Under community development project social education centre have been established at village and mahallas of cities we informally receive education from these centers.
SCOUTING AND GIRL-GUIDING:
Scouting and girl-guiding programs provide education to boys and girls respectively. Both are informal agencies of education.
Only a brief reference needs to be made to museums as an informal agency of education.
MERIT AND DEMERIT OF INFORMAL EDUCATION:
a) There are no strains of any type on the mind of the learner.
b) It is a natural way of teaching learning
c) The learner is self-motivated in process of learning.
d) Most of the learnt things are situational as they are learnt in one situation o the other. So they are remembered for a long time.
e) In this type of education there is dependence on rote learning.
a) It does not give much confidence to the learner. In spite of good knowledge, the learner may feel inferiority complete in a group of highly educated person.
b) Here education is received in the absence of a so called ‘guru’- the teacher. One may not learn the right things.
c) Whatever is expected to be learnt in the company of equal age group that is missed here? Class fellow feeling, discipline, good habits, attitudes etc. May not be acquired properly and rightly.
The truth is that none of the above discussed agencies is complete in itself. Each gives a certain type of education which is only a part of the whole. In reality both formal and informal agencies of education are mutually complementary and supplementary for the complete and whole some development of personality. Thus, both the agencies should co-operate in educating the child. There must be a balance of working by both the agencies for the total development of the child. No one is to be neglected as both complete the desired development.