Bhubaneswar: An international conference on “Mental Health and National Education Policy 2020 and Psychology in Practice” was organised by the Department of Psychology, Utkal University here recently.
Prof Sabita Acharya, vice-chancellor of Utkal University inaugurated the conference and said that with changing societal and environmental demands on attitude and knowledge of individuals in the 21st century, the constructivist perspective of education has been emphasised in the National Education Policy (NEP 2020).
The chief speaker at the conference, William Hanlon Jr. who is chief of field office, UNICEF Odisha stressed upon the psychological wellbeing of both students and educators in the teaching-learning process. He said that psychological first-aid, stigma, subjective wellbeing etc. are important.
Prof Nigamananda Das, director, IQAC & coordinator, WB-OHEPEE Utkal University, highlighted the evolution of National Education Policy through different stages in India.
Xiao LanCurdt-Christiansen, professor of Applied Linguistics, Department of Education, University of Bath, UK, who joined as a keynote speaker, emphasised on the role family language policy in wellbeing in the plenary session.
Prof Navaneeta Rath, chairperson, PG Council, Utkal University, attended the valedictory function as the chief guest. The chief speaker of the valedictory session Prof Rekha Singhal, dean, Contemplative and Behavioral Sciences (Psychology), Sri Sri University, Cuttack delivered a thought provoking session on Indian knowledge system and psychology.
The conference was attended by more than hundred participants from India and abroad. There were around 56 paper presentations spread in eight technical sessions.
The organising secretaries of the conference, Mousumi Sethy, Lucy Sonali Hembram and Sunanda Pattnaik coordinated the technical sessions.
The international conference marks the first event in the series of mental health month of October 2023. There are seminar talks and mental health awareness activities planned for the mental health awareness week during October 2023, said Prof Bhaswati Patnaik, convener of the conference.