The SCERT was established in Orissa, Bhubaneswar on 5th January 1979 to act as a principal agent of change in school education, teacher-education, non-formal education and as a centre of advanced studies and research in education. This institution was inaugurated on 16lh January 1976 by the Union Minister of Education and culture. For the improvement of education, research and training in the state Orissa, SCERT undertakes the following activities:
(i) To undertake, promote and co-ordinate research at different stages of education.
(ii) To look to the improvement of teacher education and non-formal education in the state of Orissa.
(iii) To act as an agent for the advancement of school education.
(iv) To supervise the academic activities in the Secondary Training Schools, DIETs, Colleges of Teacher Education and Institutes of advanced studies in education.
(v) To organize pre-service and in-service training for the teachers, teacher educators and inspecting officers.
(vi) The SCERT plays a very vital role in organizing some special educational projects sponsored by the NCERT and UNICEF for the progress and development of school education.
(vii) To develop and prescribe curricular for the school education in the state of Orissa,
(viii) To produce and prescribe text-books for school education and teacher training institution.
(ix) To produce instructional materials for elementary school teachers and for the teacher educators.
(x) To undertake investigations on different problems of school education.
(xi) To undertake research studies to solve the problems of education.
(xii) To organize extension service for such institutions in the state of Orissa, which are engaged in providing training to the teachers.
(xiii) To develop a programme of co-ordination with some departments like Orissa Renewable Energy Department (OREDA), Department of Science and Technology and the Departments of Environment.
(xiv) To look to the development and progress of education of the girls and the weaker section of the community.
(xv) To undertake certain project to reform the examination system of the slate of Orissa. For this purpose the SCERT organizes orientation and training programmes at frequent intervals.
(xvi) The SCERT controls and manages the Stale Institute of Educational Technology (SIET) for the utilization of educational technology at school level in the stale.
(xvii) To look to the progress of population education programme in the state of Orissa.
(xviii) The SCERT has been assigned the work of implement inline UNICEF and UNCSCO projects in the state of Orissa.