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Education as Factor of Social Change

Education plays an important role in social change. While, on the one hand, it is
responsible for handing down traditions, culture, knowledge and skills from one
generation to another; on the other, it acts as an agent of social change. New ideas and
values are initiated by it and become the goals for the young generation to pursue and
Society thus achieves two goals through education:

To socialize, shape and develop the individual according to the social

needs; and
To fulfill societys needs concerning human resources such as training for
the specialized skills in industry and technology of the modern economy.

The role of education as a factor of social change has two main types of education
system formal and informal education.
a. Formal Education: This is a traditional form of education. This type of education is
imparted in a school or college. It is consciously and deliberately planned to bring about
specific and special influence in the educand. So, it is synonymous with educational
institutions. School is thus a formal agency of education. Education has a collective
function. It has an objective to help the child to adapt to the social milieu in which
he/she is destined to live. It is possible through education that society assures for its
citizens a sufficient community of ideas and sentiments, without which any society
cannot progress and perpetuate itself.
Thus, education which is controlled and planned consciously by the state or its
designated agency' such as the school with certain specific objectives is formal
education in such a system of education there are rigid rules for age of admission,
content and duration of courses, procedures of examination, selection of elective
subject etc. It is a well organized mode of education system.
Informal Educations are those which are not structured, not systematically organized,
not regulated and not deliberately planned. Informal education does not observe any
formalities, rules and regulations and discipline. Teachers, students, curriculum and
methods are not definite and specific. There is no authority to control it specifically. It is
a life-long process. It starts from birth and ends to death. Family, society, state,
playground, field, library, neighbourhood, mass-media etc. come under informal
agencies of education.
b. Non-formal Education: Non-formal education refers to consciously organized and
patterned instruction in certain areas of knowledge, skill or values, which takes place
outside the school or similarly designated institutions, with flexibility regarding age,
period of instruction and with a choice of what to learn. This is an arrangement wherein
flexibility is the key word.
The system is an open one with regard to various aspects of education i.e. admission,
curriculum, place of instruction, mode of instruction and the time and duration of
instructions. Open University, open learning and the distance education courses are the
various examples of such a system. It is a very important mode through which India's
goals of universal elementary education and literacy are being promoted. The
I.G.N.O.U and N.I.O.S. have been centrally operating from New Delhi and part time
non-formal education centres are typical examples of this system. It has a slogan
"Reaching to the Unreachable."