The Psychology Department of Utkal University has announced that they will be launching postgraduate and diploma courses in early childhood education (ECE), guidance and counselling. The new courses will be a part of the agenda of the varsity's Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development, which was formed in the year 2018, in partnership with UNICEF. Sources have stated that a total of ₹5 crores have been set aside for the particular project as well.
The programmes have been aimed at facilitating research and studies along with conducting capacity building programmes for the Anganwadi workers as well as the Health Activists for early childhood development. Sources have stated that UNICEF will be providing the necessary resources to the CoE for the purposes of conducting different research and study work as well as training sessions.
The Centre of Excellence of the varsity’s Psychology Department will be undertaking various research studies among children aged between 0-8 years old. Under the findings that the research will bring forward, the centre will take the necessary steps to inform the government of the different steps that will help in the overall development of the children. The centre will also be focusing on designing the training modules as part of the capacity building process for all the people who deal directly with the children.
The Head of the Psychology Department of Utkal University, Bhaswati Patnaik stated that the PG and the diploma courses that will be launched in early childhood education has been designed in a way to grant the students with the power to conduct research and study early childhood education, guidance and counselling.
Patnaik has confirmed that the department has provided the University’s authorities with the proposal to start the courses. She added that once the University approves of the courses, then the next course of action will be introducing the course at the Chandikhole Campus of Utkal University. These courses on early childhood development have been one of the few new courses that have been added to the Utkal University's list of courses.
It is important to guide children, especially during the early years as, during the time, the mind of the children are constantly and rapidly developing. Patnaik also states that it is important to provide the children with the proper care that is required for their development. This includes their nutrition, education, security and many other factors that affect their growth and development of the mind. The launch of the programme will help in facilitating research and study in the field of understanding the needs of the children.