- The benefit will reach over 16,13,675 lakh children across 72,587 AWCs in Odisha
- Curriculum for Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) under ‘Nua Arunima’
- To guide parents on engaging children between 3 and 6 years at home
With the state’s anganwadi centres (AWCs) closed due to COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that children between three and six years do not lose out on learning opportunities. To ensure this, the Dept. of Women and Child Development (WCD) & Mission Shakti, Govt. of Odisha in collaboration with UNICEF launched a curriculum to guide parents on engaging children between 3 and 6 years at home. The benefit will reach over approximately 16,13,675 lakh children of 72,587 AWCs in Odisha.
The curriculum for Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) ‘Nua Arunima’ which is used in Odisha’s AWCs has been adapted and modified to make it suitable for use at home. The activities included in the adapted calendar can be easily conducted by parents for their children to help them cope in the present environment created due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is important for families to keep young children engaged in meaningful activities at home. We hope that this calendar of activities will not only promote happiness at home but will ensure psychosocial well being for children as well as their family members”, said Anu Garg, Principal Secretary, Dept. of Women and Child Development (WCD) & Mission Shakti, Government of Odisha.
The curriculum will have a special focus on prevention from COVID-19 infection, particularly social distancing, hand-washing, hygiene and sanitation to ensure that children and their caregivers are educated about the best practices and how to keep themselves safe. The curriculum also lays emphasis on a daily routine which has provision for activities, learning as well as adequate sleep and rest. The activities include action songs, storytelling, involving children in household chores such as folding clothes and watering plants and painting with vegetables, thumb printing etc.
UNICEF, Chief of Field Office, Odisha, Monika Nielsen said, “The Nua Arunima calendar adapted for the lockdown situation is a great way to keep young children engaged at home. We hope families will be able to conduct various activities for their children so that early childhood education can be continued at home.”
Given the challenges of the lockdown and social distances measures, the calendar of activities will be digitally shared with parents through the district channels which will be ultimately go from the Anganwadi Workers to the beneficiaries through WhatsApp. For families who do not have access to internet, printed copies of the calendar and activities will be provided to them each fortnight.