Utkal University, Odisha has established a Centre of Excellence on Early Childhood Development (COE-ECD). It is the collaborative effort of Utkal University and UNICEF which will focus on research work and capacity building of front-line workers like Anganwadi workers, and health activists.
UNICEF will provide the Centre with the resources to conduct research and training projects The psychology department of the varsity has the experience of conducting research in the early childhood education. The university also has a school named DARCEE which specialises in conducting research and counselling in early education for children and child care.
Centre of Excellence on Early Childhood Development will conduct studies between the age group of 0-8 years. This initiative will identify the areas where the government needs to take necessary steps for the development of children and early education. Soumendra Mohan Patnaik, Vice Chancellor of Utkal University said that they will also prepare training modules for people closely connected to children such as guardians, children and their parents, teachers etc.
The agreement between UNICEF and the Department of Psychology (Utkal University) was signed on 11th June and the collaboration will continue till 2022. Yumi Bae, UNICEF’s Odisha Head, said that the centre will conduct research in child care and will bring help to find the best ways to introduce new steps to bring improvement in the same.