The importance of non-formal education
A couple of years ago, I was a participant on a training for young people in which I had an opportunity to learn about non formal education. It was an experience that changed my life, broaden my horizons and made me aware of an new learning dimension.
Non-formal education is an education apart from formal institutions. It's an education that is mostly provided in different seminars, workshops, exchanges, trainings, courses and in which you are learning by doing, by observing and by working with different methods. This variety of approaches in non-formal education ensures participants to acquire cognitive, emotional and specific competences and skills, helps to identify and trust their instincts as well as develops confidence in their unique learning process. The most often methods are: ice breakers, energisers, group work, discussions, presentations, role plays, brainstorming, simulation games, warm up activities, indoor and outdoor activities, interactive lectures...
Defining non-formal education it's not easy, and it is usually described in different ways. In my opinion, it is a learning movement which contains a lot of values and importance for everyone carried out, from the formal education system. It helps us to acquire and maintain skills and abilities in a new and fun way. It provides you an completely new experience which you will never forget.
Nowadays, this education gets more and more importance since it's benefits are recognised and valid across the world. It is especially worth for youth workers who are working with young people during different projects. In my association, me and my colleagues are working with non formal education during our trainings, workshops and especially during the youth exchanges. It is an approach that young people are willing to work with, and in the same time, it gives to us - youth workers a connection and innovative approach, and to youth - it helps them to learn new things and to believe in themselves, their values and possibilities.
It's hard to reach out and find young people interested in additional education since they are already learning in schools and in college. They find their formal learning enough for them, and everything else very boring but with non-formal education everything changes and becomes challenging, exciting and fun - something that young people like, to have fun, to actively participate and to benefit from it.
Involve yourself in youth association programmes, go to different seminars, trainings, workshops, exchanges and experience something new - the power of non-formal education, it will for sure change and enrich your life.
Author: Jelena Batelić, Alfa Albona