Many people ask themselves, what can be achieved through non-formal education and most often people doubt non-formal education methods.
“It's just a game. It's not for adults, it’s for children, there’s nothing to learn”, they say…
To understand what we get from non-formal education, let's see the principles of work of formal and non-formal education systems.
The difference between formal and non-formal education is that non-formal education is learner-centered, its engaging life skills, experience and attitudes, its democratic and reflective.
In fact, non-formal education is the most effective thing, that can be done to educate and acquire new knowledge and skills.
Even teachers, who have 10-20 years of professional experience say, that participating in non-formal trainings and exchanges gives them something new, that is beyond the scope of the methods, that they have used for years.
But non-formal education has its diversity, so that the knowledge and skills are acceptable not only for education in the classical sense (schools, gymnasiums or various centres), but also in different spheres.
The possibilities of non-formal education methods are versatile, they are important for NGO workers, university teachers, youth leaders and just for people who want to learn and share these skills with others.
1-9 November in Berlin, Germany, there was a training course “Communication without borders”, which is organized by CHANCE International and Academy of innovation and financed by Erasmus+.
It‘s a long term training course (LTTC) which aims to improve visualisation skills for people, who work in various fields of education with different types of audience.
The training was attended by university and school teachers, representatives of non-governmental centers and organizations related to education.
The training was very intense and productive, and in order to understand why the participants liked it so much, and what is the key to success, we interviewed the participants from different countries to tell us, what they enjoyed during the project and how they will use all these skills in the future. There were people at our training for whom non-formal education was not new, and yet, you can only be surprised how many new methods can be learned at each non-formal training.
Daniela Cvetanoska works in NGO in a little town Krushevo (North Macedonia) and she has a lot of experience in the field of non-formal education.
“it’s wonderful, that even very experienced people can learn something new. The training for me is a total discovery and useful experience, fulfilled with a lot of creativity and colors. Sharing our knowledge is an opportunity to make changes in our work with a new tools and learning through games. What I learned from the training is such a simple shapes, basic drawings, comics, making posters, mind maps etc. It’s really useful skills for me and i will certainly use them in the future within my youth groups“
Daniela’s job is connected not only with young people, but also with women, minority groups etc. And she’s a vivid example of why we do such a training courses.
Lisa, Jannet and Miranda are from different cities in Greece, they’ve met for the first time and got to know each other at this training. Then they decided to open an NGO and work together in the field of non-formal education.
““We got to know each other here, but it seems like we’ve known each other for several years“, they say.
“We talked about that we all have experience in youth exchanges and we also have our own background, that can be used for the benefit of youth and ourselves.”
Another motivation story comes from Sumy, Ukraine. Olga Dashkina is a teacher with more than 15 years of professional experience. But still, for her there was a lot of new information.
“I enjoyed taking part in the training course “Communication without Borders”, because I received very useful skills, that I will definitely apply in my future work with young people. I am impressed on the amount of practical exercises and activities that are really interesting and important for the youth projects.”
As you can see, non-formal education can change a lot and it stands on so many motivated people like Daniela, Olga, Lisa and many others to make the world a lot better, brighter and happier.