The history of inception of North East Regional Institute of Education dates back to the year 1982. The ‘Task Force’ of National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) headed by Madhuri Shah made a recommendation to set up a Regional Centre for NCERT in the north east. It was felt that the Regional College at Bhubaneswar was in no position to look after the needs of the north east which are not only unique but require priority attention in the context of socio-political situation. However, it is in the year 1995 that the idea of creating a separate Regional Institute of Education for the north east was mooted by amalgamating the then Field Units of NCERT at Guwahati and Shillong. At this juncture the Council appointed a One-man Committee under the Chairmanship of Prof. C.L. Anand, former Vice Chancellor, Arunachal University to prepare a “Blue Print” in connection with the setting up of a Regional Institute of Education (RIE) of the NCERT for the North East at Shillong.

The North East Regional Institute of Education (NERIE) is a constituent unit of National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), New Delhi. NERIE was set up at Shillong in 1995 to cater to the educational needs of the North Eastern states, viz., Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. The other constituent units of NCERT are National Institute of Education (New Delhi); Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET), New Delhi; Pandit Sunderlal Sharma Central Institute of Vocational Education (PSSCIVE), Bhopal; Regional Institute of Education (RIE), Ajmer; Regional Institute of Education (RIE), Bhopal; Regional Institute of Education (RIE), Bhubaneswar and Regional Institute of Education (RIE), Mysore

NERIE aspires to provide academic and technical support system to assist and advise the governments of the above mentioned states on policies and programmes on all aspects of school education and reshape the State curricula.

It primarily aims at capacity building of the state and district level resource institutions/teachers education institutions and State Boards of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education located in the region in undertaking research, development and training. The Institute will try to engage itself in (i) the promotion and support of the programmes of the Government of India and the NCERT, (ii) development of school education in the North- East, and (iii) development of a different kind of professional identity in the areas of language in education, science and mathematics education in the light of NCF 2005, teachers’ professional development, research on sociological and cultural dimensions of Education, etc.

The programmes of NERIE focus on development of interventions for the special problems of school education in the region such as the problems of under qualified and untrained teachers, high rates of school dropouts, low levels of pupil achievement and high rates of unemployment among school leavers/school dropouts.

The programmes of NERIE also focus on research, development and training in the areas of national priority concerns such as universalization of elementary education, vocationalization of secondary education, increased educational accessibility for girls, SCs and STs and the physically challenged, improvement of science and mathematics education, computer education and educational technology.

In view of the special demographic, geographical, and other features of the region, a distinguishing characteristic of the NERIE will be its functioning modality marked by distance mode of learning and training in addition to the conventional face to face system of education and training. This could be a step towards decentralization of delivery of training by making it accessible to a large number of clienteles. The Institute will network with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and CIET, NCERT, New Delhi for the purpose. The Institute will make all efforts to preserve the ethnic/cultural identities of the people of the NE region.

Since the programmes of the Institute will be formulated on the basis of the specific needs of the NE states, most of the programmes will be organized in the concerned states in collaboration with the state departments of education, SCERTs or Boards of Education except the common regional programmes. Keeping in mind the repeated requests from the Madrassa Board, the NERIE will also make efforts to improve the content and pedagogy of teaching secular subjects in the Madrassa schools of the region.

The long term role of the NERIE would be to facilitate development of human resource in the NE region so that the states are able to provide quality inputs in all aspects of school education. It is worth mentioning here that when the NERIE came into existence there were so many pre-service teacher training institutions operative in the region. This makes the NERIE different from the other RIEs. Keeping the aforementioned in mind, the NERIE will focus its attentin on in-service teacher training programmes in the region.

Since the most important goal of the NERIE is to strengthen the functioning of the SCERTs and the DIETs in the NE States, it may start part time/correspondence M. Ed.; certificate courses in ECCE/ICT for the in–service faculty members of the SCERTs and DIETs in couple of years from now, and pre-service teacher training programmes as and when the Institute is ready for the same.

NERIE has four departments. They are:

  1. Department of Education
  2. Department of Education in Languages and Social Sciences
  3. Department of Extension Education
  4. Department of Education in Science and Mathematics
The departments of the NERIE are not be perceived as isolated watertight compartments