Augmenting Quality and Relevance of Higher Agricultural Education through Enhanced Learning Outcome and Entrepreneurship Development 

  • Inaugural address by Director, ICAR-CIWA, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, Dr. S. K. Srivastava

Early Childhood Care and Education is a period from birth to eight years and it’s a time of remarkable growth with brain development at its peak. During this stage, children are highly influenced by the environment and people surround them. To realize the need to meet the demands of ECCE, the private and government organizations have come up with child care programme. To encourage taking up this as enterprise a one day webinar on “Entrepreneurship in ECCE” organized on 5th October, 2020 under NAHEP-IDP at UAS, Dharwad for the students and staff of the university and stakeholders. Dr. S. K. Srivastava, Director, ICAR-CIWA, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, Dr. Vishala Patnam, Former Dean of CCSc &  Rtd, Professor of HDFS, Dr. Sujata Gupta Kedar Head & Associate professor, Department of Human development, Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru, and Dr. Rajalakshmi M. S., Associate professor, Dept. of ECEA, Central Institute of HSc, Bengaluru, were invited as resource persons for the National Webinar. Dr. Lata Pujar, Professor & Head, Dept. of HDFS and organizer briefed about the programme and welcomed the participants.

Dr. S. K. Srivastava inaugurated the function and opined that Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) is more than preparation for primary school, it aims at the holistic development of a child’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs in order to build a solid and broad foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing. In this way ECCE is one of the best investments a country can make to promote human resource development, gender equality, social cohesion, and to reduce the costs for later remedial programmes. He also explained about NEP-2020 and the emphasis on ECCE in this policy.

Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, UAS, Dharwad, Dr. M. B. Chetti wished everyone on the occasion of “World Teacher Day” and in his presidential address expressed that nutritional needs of the children during early childhood years will influence  in developing good and strong society. Child care in early years is very essential and it is the responsibility of parents/teachers to take care of them. He called the students to take up ECCE as a start-up or enterprise as it is a fast growing business venture.

Dr. Vishala Patnam, said Children are the supreme assets of the nation. They need to be well cared, groomed and educated. It is important to inculcate good values and habits in children at early years, so as to take care of at least three generations by implementing quality child development centers. She said that ECCE as enterprise meetes the demands of all four pillars of Atma Nirbar Bharat programme. Dr. Sujata Gupta Kedar explained the major issues in early childhood education and profession. As per Census 2011, India, with a population of 121.1 Cr, has 16.45 Cr children in the age group 0-6 years which constitute 13.59% of the total population in that around 50 percent of children lack health care, 22% of children have not completed their needed vaccinations, 20% of children have one or more developmental/learning or behavioral disorders. In view of this she addressed developmental, curricular and family issues in this enterprise.

Dr. Rajalakshmi M. S, explained the opportunities like private tutoring service, private preschool, customized curriculum and lesson plans, online courses, webinars, music classes dance classes, after school activity centers, nutritional counseling services, rehabilitation centers, arts & crafts classes, sports coaching service and first aid training services as entrepreneurship during preschool years. More than 200 participants participated from all over India. In the presence of Co-ordinator, IDP, Dr. P. U. Krishnaraj and Associate Co-ordinator, Dr. K. V. Ashalatha, the National Webinar was organized by Professor & Head, Dept. of HDFS, Dr. Lata Pujar and Assistant Professor, Dr. Vinutha U. Mukthamath.