Both Formal and Self education are ways of imparting knowledge to yourself, but they have advantages plus disadvantages. The method of imparting knowledge matters in both methods. Self education may be similar to homeschooling which is learning from home with the help of a private tutor. The advantage of formal education is that teaching is done by learned professionals who offer guidance and corrections. Having a teacher to guide you through the learning process helps in a quick understanding of the content. Formal education is orderly since institutions have rules that need to be followed to avoid confusion within learners or teachers. Failure to follow rules leads to punishment and this helps keep learners in line, rules provoke commitment by learners resulting in timely finishing of assignments.
Formal institutions keep track of changes that keep occurring in the education sector ensuring that the syllabuses taught are constantly updated to give valid information to students. They have a systemized way of grading tests to help move a student to the next level of learning. These graded tests could be used to reward best performing students or motivated students who need to work harder to improve their grades. Formal Institutions set aside academic days when parents come to discuss their children’s performance in different subjects. This helps in providing accountability for what the student has gained within the given learning period or to identify subjects that performed poorly plus the reason behind poor performance. A student learns better when surrounded by their peers as they can interact inside and outside classroom settings better than being homeschooled.
Another advantage of formal education is that institutions have staff apart from teachers such as psychologists, counselors or religious leaders who help you to grow emotionally, spiritually, not just knowledge wise. An education institution provides the opportunity to be taught by someone else instead of trying to grasp information by yourself. Formal education is not only learning inside the class as there are extracurricular activities to keep the student fit through sports or nurture your other talents through club activities such as drama clubs. There is an assurance in being taught by professionals who have specialized in specific subjects instead of gambling for information. Progress is measured by the levels you go through in formal education, the hierarchy of the institutions helps you know what level you are at, how much you have achieved and what needs to be done next.
The same cannot be said about self education as it does not have the same organized setting. Group studies with peers enables a scholar to brainstorm and exchange ideas with people of the same age group as they are more comfortable around peers. Formal education allows you to interact with people of different social classes which helps you improve your social skills and emotional intelligence when dealing with people around you. Easier certification in a formal institute improves your chances of getting employed after studies. The hierarchy of institutes provides direction and guides you when the time comes for choosing a career path to be followed. Self education has its advantages as there is freedom of choice on what you want to learn without being forced to do so. It provides privacy which is not present in a social setting, and you can learn from the comfort of your home.
Self education is cheaper since no tuition fee is paid or uniforms are purchased and no dress code is followed. The disadvantage is that lack of hierarchy means there is no direction followed that may bring confusion in studying. Its sedentary nature does not provide opportunities to exercise and keep fit. Self education does not have other segments such as sports or clubs which help nurture other talents. This is a good study method but to be an all rounded person, a formal setting is better.
There is hardly any certification in self education or an organized grading system so a learner cannot assess their progress or give clear proof of studying. It lacks a social setting where a scholar can interact with peers to exchange ideas and brainstorm. Getting a job after self education is hard as there is no trained professional to take you through courses and most information acquired is gambled information. The monotony due to studying in the same environment is a disadvantage too. There are more advantages to formal education which makes it the best system to follow.