“Non-formal education is an organised programme of learning, carried outside the framework of formal education system. Usually it is flexible, learner-centered, contextualized and uses a participatory approach. There is no specific target group for NFE; it could be kids, youth or adults, Iliterates, neo-literates and school drop-outs. Those interested in Life Long Education can also join this type of education”


Non-formal education includes all educational activities, (irrespective of the stage of education) and all sectors of education outside the formal system.The Department organizes short term programmes and orientation courses to provide opportunities for employability and better employment, considering the local needs of the individuals. Orientation programmes for Preraks {Instructors) of Continuing Education Centre are also organized by the Department to empower and motivate them.

The Department of Non-Formal and Continuing Education and Special Projects includes the area of Non-Formal education, Continuing Education, Guidance and Counselling, Pupulation Education, Special Education and Scholarships.

Non-Formal Education

Non-formal Education is any organized educational activity that takes place outside the formal educational system. Usually it is flexible, learner-centered, contextualized and uses a participatory approach. There is no specific target group for NFE; it could be kids, youth or adults, Illiterates, neo-literates and school drop-outs. Those interested in Life Long Education can also join this type of education.

Goals of Non-Formal Education

  • To develop literacy skills through continuing
  • To provide chances of each and everyone interested in learning.
  • To enable the learners to make use of their learning in their daily
  • To develop consciousness to evaluate different social
  • To conduct research studies associated with non formal education
  • To ensure Secondary-level education across the State of Kerala.
  • To nurture career efficiency programmes.

Population Education (POPED)

The activities of POPED are two-fold: population education programmes supported by the Govt. of Kerala and those funded by UNFPA.

POPED is engaged in :

  • Preparation, review and collection of materials for textbooks on POPED, based on NCERT guidelines
  • In-service training to supervisors who run non-formal education centres
  • Organising events in connection with World Population Day & World AIDS Day
  • Setting up Population Education labs in schools
  • Planning and evaluation of the POPED programmes
  • Publication and translation of booklets
  • Organizing awareness programmes on Population Education
  • Preparation of training packages based on the re-conceptualized framework of Population Education
  • Providing training courses for high school teachers and PTAs on POPED and Development Education
  • Developing booklets on Population Education and Development Education
  • Adapting and developing curriculum advocacy, training and monitoring of materials on the subject in schools
  • Organizing workshops/ seminars to evaluate the attitude towards NDS education among school children
  • Orientation programmes for teachers on AIDS education
  • Planning for Adolescent Education and task force formation
  • Developing tools, practicing trials and finalising materials
  • Developing training module with inputs from DIETs, UNFPA, health professionals and medical officers

Training of Master trainers in population and adolescent education is a key programme of the Population Education department. Master trainers are given training under the supervision of experts in the field of health education and social work. Various materials on adolescent education are also printed and distributed. The department also identifies schools for AIDS awareness activities. Question box activities, competitions, seminars etc. are also conducted in these schools involving experts in various fields. District and State level debate competitions on issues related to Population Education are also conducted.


National Talent Search Examination (NTSE)

 SCERT plays a major role in preparing students for the NTSE (organized by NCERT) by administering the screening test at the state level. The test comprises of a two-stage selection procedure. Each state is required to recommend a given number of candidates for the national level test based on the merit in the written examination. The test is taken by students of class VIII in 35 centres in the state including Lakshadweep. SCERT also organizes coaching camps for the selected candidates. Experts from various disciplines and SCERT faculty members guide the students to face the final examination and the personal interview with confidence. Every year about 60 students from the state qualify for the scholarship.

 The National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Examination

The National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Examination, as per the scheme of NMMS of the MHRD, is organized by the unit in SCERT for the selection of deserving candidates to award the scholarship. The state level selection test is conducted by SCERT for students of class VIII, who score C+ and above in their class VII annual examinat ion and those who belong to families with the income group below 1,50,000/- per annum. The scholarships are awarded only to the school going population in the Government and Aided schools in Kerala, with a view to bring down the dropout rates and to give financial aid to the students to pursue their studies up to the higher secondary level. The selection is conducted in November every year, along with the State level National Talent Search Examination. Nearly 3500 students are selected through this examination for scholarship.

The department of Non-formal education in SCERT recently initiated the Continuing Education Scheme with Kerala State Literacy Mission (KSLMA), which has an important role in the context of total literacy and post-literacy programmes in Kerala. Through these programmes, the department aims at assisting those who lack any prior education, to improve their economic conditions, general well-being and productivity.

This has nine aspects:

  • Substitute education
  • Complementary education
  • Prolongation of education
  • Further education
  • Individual development
  • Equivalency programmes
  • Income generating programmes
  • Quality Improvement Life Programmes
  • Individual Interest Programmes

Guidance and Counselling


Education aims at promoting optimum development of students in all spheres. Guidance and counselling in harmony with the goals of education ,aims to facilitate maximum personal development of children in all spheres of life. In its attempt to meet the needs of all students ,guidance and counselling makes education a meaningful and satisfying experience.

The national curriculum framework (NCF 2005) views guidance and counselling as part of curriculum. In this view guidance and counselling functions can be carried out through the curriculum by integrating  guidance philosophy and practices  through curricular offerings ,thereby adopting a pro active and preventive approach.

Guidance and counselling not only helps students to develop  an understanding of oneself and of others, it also support the student to deal with their personal-social, academic and career related concerns. It facilitates development of effective study habits, motivation, identifying learning or subject related problems, helping students to see the relevance of school years in life and for future, developing skills ,right attitude and interests to help making a choice in career etc. Guidance and counselling  thus promotes holistic development of every student. This signifies the need for every teacher to become a ‘guidance minded’ teacher and carry out his/her functions with guidance mind.