Social reality has starred in recent decades many changes. A change of values, in forms, in the demands and attitudes that affect all personal areas and social citizenship, has taken place. School as a social institution and education as a training reference generalized to the entire population have received this impact as an important and relevant fact these days.
Education should train a person from a critical perspective in order to build a society that walks towards more supportive values, more cooperative models and more integrated-oriented that the ones we can find today in our society.
The first thing ever done should develop the general ability for independent thinking and neutral judgment, and not the acquisition of specialized knowledge. Teaching a man a speciality should not be enough, despite this might make it a useful machine, because he will not be able to have a harmonious personality and will not be fully developed....
Young people are aware that in the context of flexibility they have to live with, it is as important to know who they are, as what they want to be, what their goals are, how to prepare specifically for a job or how to focus on a profession. They also know that their future chances depend on knowledge acquisition and acquired skills, the knowledge they have about future and the possibilities, once in the labor market, of the profession they choose. They know many people who after finishing their studies and having trained for a certain professional job, cannot find a suitable work because there are no jobs according to their training, either the labor market does not need people prepared with those studies or either their training is not needed to that specific job.
Navarra’s 2004 Youth Report reveals that the most important thing for young people if they have to make a decision, is the development of their personality, to know what they want to be and what is their life purpose. The current education system and formal education is overwhelmed and more focused on the cognitive aspects than other aspects that complete a person’s formation, aspects that truly are working at the cross-sectional areas, but these are not enough, hence the need to complement and let formal and non-formal go together.
Non-formal education including education and leisure time tend to protect a comprehensive education developing all kinds of skills and qualities to overcome difficulties and working to nurture the personality properly. Young people need to discover, develop and defend their identity guarding their autonomy, self-esteem and self-control in the same way that they must enter into the socialization process and the relationship with the peer group, respecting differences and working cooperation, respect, solidarity and participation. Ultimately, this values-based education will strengthen these personalities.
Motivation and creation of spaces for non-formal education and participation should be the targets of an educational social action specifically aimed to young men / women in order to transmit the skills and the knowledge needed to develop a profession linked to the promotion of their fundamental skills and enable mechanisms to let them discover their interests and needs.
Spanish young people show interest in a set of values that school and our educational system, does not satisfy, the so-called non-formal education meets these needs and therefore it has already the advantage of the motivation factor. The flexibility and its continuous renovation, makes it more dynamic and it reaches young people more easily. Here lie the answers to their questions, references that encourage the creation of their identity. Space and time where non-formal education is developed promotes learning and methodologies used, and the latter are gradually incorporated into formal education . These methodologies make the students take into action, live and experience the contents himself / herself that are internalized in their personalities. This is extraordinarily efficient in carrying to fruition the purposes of educational activities in general. The spaces that are created around non-formal education such as indoor playgrounds, camps, extracurricular activities, neighborhood associations, campus, school canteens etc, are a very suitable environment to make a positive and a comprehensive educational action.
In addition, the new changes in family structures have turned these spaces into very important places, which it also helps to correct and harmonize the needs of family life with work and school. It’s an educational space that promotes and develops an appropriate personal development where individual and collective evolutionary processes can be achieved.
Summarizing, formal education must be supplemented with non-formal education, coordinating all social agents, family, school, monitors or educators who belong to non-formal education, to work transverse values at school and directly on the family and the leisure education. Keep in mind that results are not short term, but we must also be sure that young people are the present and future of this society and we have a long way to improve it in order to reach a fairer society.
Written by Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, Instituto Navarro de la Juventud
2 Informe de Juventud Navarra 2004. Instituto Navarro de Deporte y Juventud. Gobierno de Navarra.
“Educación para la convivencia y la paz en el ámbito de la educación no formal en la Comunidad Autónoma del País Vasco” (2004). Departamento de Justicia, Empleo y Seguridad Social. Gobierno Vasco.
3“Atando Cabos, estudio sobre la situación de la educación al desarrollo con jóvenes de 12 a 18 años en Pamplona y Navarra (2003)”. Coordinadora de ONGD de Navarra. Pamplona.
4 “Informe de juventud de España 2012”. INJUVE. Madrid.