Glossary Term

Formal education

Education that is institutionalized, intentional, and planned through public organizations and recognized private bodies and – in their totality – constitute the formal education system of a country. Formal education programs are thus recognized as such by the relevant national education authorities or equivalent authorities, e.g. any other institution in cooperation with the national or sub-national education authorities. Vocational education, special education, and some parts of adult education are often recognized as being part of the formal education system.

Formal education is often organized in two tracks: traditional academic schooling, which includes education in literacy and language arts, numeracy and mathematics, social studies, science, physical education, and creative arts, and TVET, which involves skills-based training, work readiness, and employability skills.

Formal education programs are implemented and managed by national governments and lead to the accreditation of learning outcomes. Curricula are approved and teachers are recognized by the government.