Why We Need To Adopt Informal Education Practices In The Management Of Formal Education Systems

Kenya is one of the African Countries with the highest rate of unemployment despite the fact that literacy levels have gone up. Most high school graduates who are also the majority of the job seekers lack the basic skills which the job market requires.

Kenya’s education system today is inherited from the British Colonial Administration. The education system had been established by the colonialists to serve their own purpose – that of providing clerks and interpreters of the Bible. After independence the need for education changed as self-governance meant need for specialized manpower. This has seen Kenya change its education system from 8:4:2:3 to 7:4:2:3 and finally to 8:4:4 in an attempt to cater for the country’s needs. In all these changes, informal educational practices were not given much attention as they were associated with the Africans and African civilization which was deemed inferior.

The main differences between informal education and formal education is that whereas formal education is geared to impersonal goals of knowledge acquisition, informal education is a process of enabling the individual understand the societal goals and mutual relationship. Informal education practices are yet to be meaningfully integrated in the management of formal education. This is because majority of formal and informal trainers and trainees disagree to their use, in the management of formal education.

Learning theories and models can be blended to accommodate formal and informal practices in management of education and in the process, develop an individual who has requisite competencies at problem-solving. Competencies in this context refers to skills, attitudes, knowledge and abilities of people such competencies can only be said to be relevant when they help people to observe desired values. Such competencies are critical if any society is to develop and remain relevant in a rapidly growing global society.

Although professional educators are now much more involved than before in policy making, it remains true that the educational theory and practice are world’s part. This is evident in our graduates who cannot be employed anywhere due to their lack of competencies and have to undergo some post qualification in-service course. Students who are products of Kenya’s formal education are not able to develop and use original inventive, innovative and entrepreneurial competencies. It therefore shows that most of the students trained through the Kenya’s formal education graduate when they are incapable of inventing, creating and sustaining productive jobs.

The use of problem-solving practices is therefore necessary to encourage the production of innovative, inventive and entrepreneurial graduates in Kenya’s formal education. Problem-solving practices should be adopted to complement formal education in Kenya at all levels. They can be included while designing the subsequently needed curriculum.