Role and Functions of the Department

The department performs varied roles with the overall objective of bringing about qualitative improvement in Social Science and Commerce Education in schools. It has been involved in the development of model syllabi and teaching-learning material in Social Sciences (History, Geography, Political Science, Economics and Sociology), Commerce and Health and Physical Education for the Upper Primary, Secondary and the Higher Secondary Stages. The department has also focused on Human Rights Education. The DESS also implements National Population Education Project, Adolescence Education Programme and Introduction of Yoga in schools under centrally sponsored scheme of ‘Quality Improvement in Schools’.

The department undertakes multifarious activities such as development of syllabi, textbooks, other instructional materials like teachers’ handbook, training manuals, and supplementary readers with the objective of making social science learning interactive and enriching. Recognizing the potential of technologies in this regard, the department also works on developing various innovative curricular including audio-video. Taking into consideration the need of the hour to enrich the vocabulary of school children in various disciplines of social sciences, the DESS has initiated the programme of developing subject-specific (Geography, History, Economic and Political sciences) trilingual (English, Hindi & Urdu) dictionaries in simple and child-friendly language. Besides developing manuals for in-service teacher education, as part of capacity building activities, it also provides in-service training to social science and commerce teachers and teacher educators working in different states. The department also collaborates with other constituent units of the NCERT, various states and central agencies in areas related with its functions.

The department is also involved in the process of developing (has begun) textbooks in Human Rights, Health and Physical Education, supplementary reading materials, audio-video materials, dictionaries and other resource materials for students and teachers. It has envisaged to organize in-service teacher education programmes in new areas such as Geographical Information System (GIS) and Computerized Accounting. Extending support to other agencies and states for bringing qualitative improvement in social science and commerce education will continue to be its endeavour in the coming days as well.

The department also houses the National Population Education Project (NPEP), which was launched in April 1980 as an educational intervention to help the country attain its demographic goal. The unit has been implementing two components of the Quality Improvement Scheme namely (i) National Population Education Project in 30 States/UTs and (ii) Introduction of Yoga in Schools. It has also been implementing the Adolescence Education Programme of the MHRD funded by UNFPA for imparting authentic knowledge to learners about Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health (ARSH) concerns inculcate positive attitude and develop appropriate skills for responsible ARSH behaviour.