Non-formal education and basic education reform: a conceptual review

Hoppers, Wim H.M.L.
Quality education for all
141 p.

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Within the context of Education for All, non-formal education is acquiring increased significance in many countries of the South. Yet while governments, civil society and agencies are making greater efforts to support such initiatives, they are also concerned about how to manage the increased diversity. While it is vital to respond to needs, it is equally important to ensure equity, quality and development. This booklet offers a conceptual and strategic exploration of the non-formal field within the perspective of basic education as a whole. A differentiated approach to non-formal education is introduced, which recognizes specific types and allows for distinct usages depending on life situations, philosophies, purposes and relations with the formal system. In consequence it also allows for different policy responses and forms of state intervention. The author addresses the complex linkages between formal and non-formal education, and the value of some types of non-formal education for improving the quality and relevance of basic education. He challenges the reader on means of using policy, planning and action-oriented research to move towards integration, equity and diversity.