invisible hit counter The difference between formal and non-formal education in Indonesia - 10 Downing Nyc

Friends must have heard the terms formal and non-formal education used in the education system in Indonesia many times. These two terms have long been included in the Law on the National Education System. The law states that education is an activity in the form of counseling, training, and teaching.

Formal, non-formal, and informal education have different forms and meanings. Although they have different meanings, these three educational pathways are complementary and have the same main objective.

Education aims to increase a person’s potential in various aspects that are beneficial to themselves, their family, society, and others. Because of this, everyone is encouraged to get involved in education from an early age.

However, quite a few of us may still be confused by the difference between formal and non-formal education. Which one is better? And what are the costs of formal and non-formal education?


What is formal education?

Formal education is an educational pathway that includes levels ranging from elementary school through middle school to university. This is an education conducted by schools in general.

The nature of this training is formal and its graduates have been recognized both nationally and internationally. The purpose of formal education is to educate potential human resources to be physically and mentally healthy and to create benefits for themselves, their families, communities, and the country.


Characteristics of formal education

Here are the characteristics of formal education you need to know:

  • The curriculum is clear.
  • Has certain conditions for all students.
  • Have structured academic learning materials.
  • The educational process is quite long.
  • Teachers must comply with the classification.
  • The implementation of education, namely the government and the private sector.
  • Students must take exams at all levels.
  • Some administrations tend to be the same.
  • Diplomas and other documents are very important to accept students for the next level of education.


What is non-formal education?

Non-formal education is an educational path that takes place outside the formal educational environment with a graduated and structured delivery system.

Non-formal education exists to develop potential with more specific knowledge and skills. From this statement, it can be seen that formal and non-formal education differs in terms of teaching materials and levels.


Characteristics of non-formal education

Non-formal education is mostly found at an early age and various courses or lessons, such as piano lessons, singing lessons, English, and others. From a goal perspective, non-formal education is often an option for anyone with a specific goal.

Therefore, it is customary for non-formal implementing agencies to have the responsibility to fulfill a wider range of objectives. Here are the characteristics:


  • Non-formal education is organized in such a way that students acquire skills that can be used immediately. Thus, the training is more focused on functional learning, depending on the needs.
  • Greater emphasis on students’ learning efforts. Typically, informal settings require students to learn independently, so they need initiative and control over learning activities.
  • Has short maintenance time and no continuity.
  • The curriculum used is flexible, can be determined according to the student’s goals, and can be openly negotiated.
  • The participative learning method with the concept of independent learning.
  • Educators are facilitators, not patronizing. Meanwhile, the relationship between educators and students is informal or intimate.
  • Use of local sources that are optimally used.
  • Diplomas, certificates, or other supporting documents.


In addition to formal and non-formal education, it turns out that there is another educational path that is no less important, namely informal education.

In contrast to formal and non-formal education, informal education is a way of family and environmental education in the form of independent learning activities. We can find informal education through homeschooling or the Center for Teaching and Learning.

In contrast to formal and non-formal education, the following characteristics of informal education are:

  • Can be kept anywhere.
  • There are no special requirements to be met.
  • Students do not have to take certain exams.
  • There is no curriculum and no level of education.
  • The educational process is carried out continuously independent of space and time.
  • Parents are teachers for students.
  • No need for diplomas, certificates, and documents.


One of the differences between informal education and formal and non-formal education is seen concerning exams. In formal education, we know the national exam, while in non-formal education we know the national equality education exam.


How much does formal and non-formal education cost?

The difference between formal and non-formal education also lies in the range of costs that must be borne by each student. So how much does it cost to prepare?

The cost of formal and non-formal education depends on the educational institution. In formal education, the range of costs also differs depending on the level. For example, the costs of kindergarten, elementary school, junior high, high school, and college are different.

The costs of formal education are divided into two types, namely public school costs and private school costs. Private schools usually cost more than public schools.

Therefore, the range of costs between formal and non-formal education cannot be determined with certainty. In addition, the cost of education will increase indefinitely every year, especially in private schools.


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