Universalization of Elementary Education and eradication of adult illiteracy have been the two major and prime goals of educational development of the country since independence. In order to achieve the elementary education for all, the Article 45 which primarily deals with provision of free and compulsory education for children irrespective of sex, caste, creed, community, religion etc. envisaged as –
“The state shall endeavour to provide within a period of 10 years for the adoption of Indian Constitution for free and compulsory education for all the children until they complete the age of 14 years.”
Since the dawn of independence, India has been making considerable efforts in the field of education and also for the eradication of adult illiteracy. As a result of such efforts, the literacy percentage of the country improved from — % in 1951 to …% in 2011. But we still remain far behind in achieving the 100% universalization of adult illiteracy. Another important reason for backwardness in the area of education in some parts of the county is the occurrence of premature dropout of children. Only a few children can complete the eight years of elementary education in time.
In order to improve the pace of progress in UEE and eradication of adult illiteracy form the country, it was in 1986; Govt. of India adopted a new National Policy on Education (1986) and subsequent document, Programme of Action (POA) signified as the landmark in the history of educational development in the country. The National Policy of Education (1986) and POA emphasised the goal of universalization of elementary education in two major aspects viz. Universal enrolment and retention of children in the relevant age group in the elementary school and their regular attendance and also universal attainment of quality of education.
To achieve these, there were a number of inputs identified as important and crucial in the system of elementary education and adult education. Out of all these inputs that influence the universalization of elementary education as well as the quality of education, the quality, competence, and character of teachers are undoubtedly the most significant. But, these interns substantially depend on the quality of teacher training and academic and resource support provided to them.
Before the adoption of NPE, these academic and resource support needed for the teacher in the area of elementary education were being provided largely at the national and state level only by certain institutions like NCERT, NIEPA (Now it is NIUPA) and SCERTs etc. likewise in the field of adult education, the necessary academic and resource supports were being provided by the Central Directorate of Adult Education at the National level and by State Resource Centres (CRCs) at the State level. Below the state level, there was an elementary teacher education institution but their functions were confined mostly to Pre-Service Teacher Education.
Moreover, most of such institutions were inadequate in terms of physical human and academic resources for which they could not satisfy the need of the teachers. Therefore, for satisfactory improvement in the quality teacher education in a decentralized manner, the NPE and POA envisaged addition of a district-level tier in order to provide both infrastructure and academic support in the shape of District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) expecting a wider qualitative coverage, as well as qualitatively better support as these institutes, would be very much closer to the actual field. In this regard, a pursuant to the provision of NPE on teacher education a centrally sponsored scheme of Restructuring and Reorganisation of Teacher Education was approved in October 1987.
In this way, the District Institute of Education and Training (DIETs) a premier and nodal district-level teacher educational institution was established at Biswanath Chariali in the Sonitpur district along with the establishment of other DIETs in different districts of the country. The principle goal of the DIET is to provide academic and resource support at the grass-root level for the success of the various strategies and programs being undertaken in the area of elementary and adult education with special reference to the universalization of primary/elementary education and also to achieve the functional literacy in the adults of 15 – 35 years age group