Non-formal education


Education that is institutionalised, intentional and planned by an education provider. The defining characteristic of non-formal education is that it is an addition, alternative and/ or complement to formal education within the process of the lifelong learning of individuals. It is often provided to guarantee the right of access to education for all. It caters to people of all ages but does not necessarily apply a continuous pathway-structure; it may be short in duration and/or low-intensity, and it is typically provided in the form of short courses, workshops or seminars. Non-formal education mostly leads to qualifications that are not recognised as formal or equivalent to formal qualifications by the relevant national or sub-national education authorities or to no qualifications at all. Non-formal education can cover programmes contributing to adult  p 81and youth literacy and education for out-ofschool children, as well as programmes on life skills, work skills, and social or cultural development.

Example of use

Finally, it should again be emphasized that non-formal education is an essential factor in rural development. The diffi culties involved in managing, evaluating and sustainably developing non-formal education are well-known, and we must strive to construct indicators that will be of assistance to these processes. This is not the least of the challenges presented by this type of work, and is one that this guide will endeavour to take up (Sauvageot and Dias da Graça, 2007:19).

Source :

Sauvageot, Claude, et Patricia Dias da Graça. Using indicators in planning education for rural people in Africa: a practical guide. Paris; Rome: UNESCO-IIPE; FAO, 2007.