Minister Prafulla Samal inaugurated state-level consultation ‘IGNITING YOUNG MINDS: State Level Dialogue on ECCE, Odisha’

Bhubaneswar: Minister WCD & Mission Shakti, Govt of Odisha, Sri Prafulla Samal today inaugurated a two-day state-level consultation ‘IGNITING YOUNG MINDS: State Level Dialogue on ECCE, Odisha’ organized by the Department of Psychology, Utkal University, in partnership with UNICEF Odisha at Hotel New Marrion, Bhubaneswar.

Prof S.M Patnaik, Vice Chancellor, Utkal University, Ms .Kasturi Mohapatra, Chairperson, OSCPCR, Govt. of Odisha and Ms Yumi Bae, Chief, UNICEF Odisha, was among other dignitaries present at the inaugural function.

The consultation seeks to broaden the ECCE Odisha network and generate new ideas for promoting quality ECCE in the state. To do this it brings together national and regional leaders, experts, practitioners and professionals in the field of ECCE planning and practice along with major stakeholdersthat includes children, parents/grandparents. The consultation aims to facilitate and foster a collective will and meaningful engagement to transform Early Childhood Education in Odisha to achieve positive outcomes for all children in the State.

The consultation will focus on elements and opportunities in the National ECCE Policy 2013; State initiatives and practices with family engagement and community participation; Strategic plan for equitable implementation of quality ECCE; Development of a road map and strategies for ECCE and related issues.

Speaking at the event, UNICEF Odisha Chief MsYumi Bae said, “Children’s rights to quality care and education are absolutely critical for full realization of their inner potential. Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) is not just about making children school-ready or ready for their role in society; it is also about making the society and the schools ready for children and helping them realize their lives potential.”

Quality of home environment, the quality of the Anganwadis and early education of children are critical so In Odisha, the best efforts to improve the quality of Anganwadis, the quality of Anganwadi workers and the quality of early care and education. The State Commission for Protection of Child Rights and WCD Department must work together to develop norms and minimum standards and monitor and regulate all Private and Government institutions for children’s safety and quality education. UNICEF and Utkal University, Department of Psychology partnership for better ECCE in the state is a welcome development.

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