Role of Various Agencies for Imparting Education in India

Important Types of Agencies for Imparting Education are given below:

1. Formal Agencies:

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Those agencies which are developed with the specific and exclusive aim of imparting education are called the Formal Agencies of Education. They are preplanned in aim, scope and programme. The time and places of their activity as well as the means of their procedure and performance are all fixed and well-regulated.

They are kept under a certain code of discipline and regularly supervised. Such agencies include the school, the church, the state, organised recreational centers, museums, libraries and art galleries etc.

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Merits of Formal Agencies:

According to John Dewey, “Without formal education, it is not possible to transmit all the resources and achievements of a complex society. It also opens a way to a kind of experience which would not be accessible to the young, if they are left to pick up their training in informal association with others.”

Hence, we can say that everything is definite and specific about the objectives, learning experiences, desired behavioural changes together with measuring and evaluation techniques.



John Dewey says, Formal education easily becomes remote and dead abstract and bookish. What accumulated knowledge exists in low grade societies is at least put into practice. But in advance culture much which has to be learnt is stored in symbols.

It is far from translation into familiar acts. There is the standing danger that the material of formal education will be merely the subject matter of schools isolated from the subject-matter of life experience.

Formal agencies promote rote memorization, mechanical rendering of knowledge and does not inculcate thoughts, understanding and insight into the minds of educants. Education, thus provided is generally bookish, artificial and theoretical.

2. Informal Agencies:


Then there are agencies which grow up spontaneously and also dissolve in the same way. They observe no formalities of rules, regulations and discipline. Their main function is also not the imparting of education. But indirectly they exercise a great educative influence on their members.

Through these agencies a lot of education is available to children without effort or cost. Such agencies are called the Informal Agencies of Education. They include the family, the society, the playgrounds, professional organisations, youth- activity groups and the like.

Merits of Informal Agencies:

John Dewey has aptly remarked, “The child is informally educated by living with others and the very process of living together educates. It enlarges and enlightens experience, it stimulates and enriches imagination, it creates responsibility, accuracy and vividness of statement and thought.”

Thus education imparted through informal agencies leads to initiative, self-planning and self- choosing. It is natural and incidental and is imparted in a free atmosphere without any rigid control and direction. It avoids external forces and stern discipline.


It is possible that informal agencies of educa­tion may impart Vague Knowledge. Duration and time limits are greatly essential in the preparation of citizens who are to lead their own lives successfully and guide the destiny of their nation. Skills and techniques also cannot be developed through informal agencies. Much time and energy is wasted.

3. Active Agencies:

It is also essential here to distinguish between the active and passive agencies of education. Those agencies which provide for education through the interaction of persons, are called Active Agencies of Education.

In their case, education is a two-way process. Both the educator and the educant or the individual and the group, influence each other. These agencies include the family, the school, the church, the playgrounds, the youth-activity groups, the professional organisations, social welfare organisations and the like.

4. Passive Agencies:

But in the present day world, there are many important agencies in which interaction is only a one-way process. They influence the individual but are not influenced by him as such.

No doubt, they are subject to public control to a certain extent; but they influence the individual while the individual carries no weight with them.

Such agencies are called Passive Agencies of Education. These include the press, the radio, the television, the theatre, the museum, the public library and the cinema.

Education clearly means the providing of proper environment for the development of child. The family, the school, the community, the state, the church, the library, the newspapers, the exhibitions, the radio, the magazines, the cinema etc. are the means which provide diverse opportunities for the child to learn something and bring about a modification in his behaviour.

According to B.D. Bhatia “Society has developed a number of specialized institutions to carry out these functions of education. These institutions are known as Agencies of Education.”

The word ‘agency’ means operation of an agent. By ‘agent’ we mean a person or thing that acts or exerts power. Hence agencies of education are those factors which exercise an educational influence on the child.


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