Department of Elementary Education(DEE)

The Department of Elementary Education (DEE) is the nodal department of the NCERT to advise the Government of India on policies and programmes pertaining to elementary education. It acts as the nodal centre at the national level for the implementation of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan and the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009.

The thrust areas for the department are: Early Childhood Care and Education, Early Literacy Programme and Elementary Education.

The department is playing a lead role in different types of activities such as research, development, training and extension in the context of SSA.

Programme Evaluation is the emerging area in the field of education and the DEE has been making significant contributions towards this new area of research.

Role and Functions


The role and functions of the department pertaining to its major areas are as follows:

Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)
  • Developing exemplar materials for training of the grass root ECE functionaries;
  • Developing resource materials for preschool teachers, parents and other interested groups;
  • Conducting need based research studies in the area of ECCE;
  • Building capacities of the states in the area of ECCE and strengthen SCERTs and DIETs. Six-month Diploma Course in Early Childhood Care and Education is offered every year;
  • Conducting training programmes for key functionaries of states in planning, implementation and monitoring of the ECCE programmes and developing necessary materials for children, teachers, teacher educators and parents;
  • Disseminating Early Childhood Care and Education - Children Media Laboratory (ECCE-CML) kit to Government run pre-school centres, Anganwadis and private institutions working in the area of ECCE;
  • Conducting seminars and conferences on the emerging issues and thrust areas of the Early Childhood Education; and
  • Providing resource support to government as well as non-government institutions for the training of preschool teachers.


Early Literacy Programme
  • Drawing the attention of policy makers and curriculum designers in the country on the pedagogy of reading in early years;
  • Making available a variety of children’s literature and other resource material to support the pilot project in Uttar Pradesh and other states;
  • Helping teachers develop an understanding about reading and writing; and
  • Monitoring the progress and providing support to teachers and other functionaries.

Elementary Education
  • Conducting research studies in the priority areas related to elementary education, especially on issues related to improvement in the quality of elementary education;
  • Undertaking programme evaluation of various quality initiatives, implemented by the States for qualitative improvement of the elementary education under SSA;
  • Developing guidelines for preparation of subject-wise syllabi and curricular materials for children and support materials for teachers for classes I to V;
  • Developing the guidelines for Curriculum and Evaluation Procedure in respect of schools owned, controlled and managed by the Central Government and UTs without Legislature in the context of the RTE Act, 2009;
  • Popularisation of the Source Books on Assessment at the Primary stage for different curricular areas at the primary level;
  • Capacity building of key functionaries in the States/UTs for implementation of syllabi and textual materials based on NCF-2005 for primary level;
  • Providing academic support under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Right to Education Act, 2009 with respect to planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of activities especially those related to improving the quality of education;
  • Developing awareness and sensitising community on issues related to RTE, Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) and elementary education through various advocacy programmes;
  • Organising seminars, conferences and consultative meetings on important themes and thrust areas in Elementary Education; and
  • Documenting and dissemination of innovative/relevant materials in ECCE and elementary education through journals and National Documentation Unit.

Recent Documents/Reports on Elementary Education

Minutes of the Eighth Meeting of the National Resource Group for SSA

Nodal Officers for Quality issues, Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE), Early Reading and Mathematics at Elementary Stage