THE NEED FOR CHANGE IN THE DESIGN AND STRUCTURE OF PROFESSIONAL SOCIAL WORK EDUCATION AS A CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY.

Sorab` Sadri

Abstract


PREAMBLE :The Social work Education in India is now 70 years old and it is widely recognized that social work education is vital for the national development.  The most important challenge in the coming decade of 21st Century will be the optimum us of social work know how in the non corporate, unrecognized and other socially relevant sectors of the economy.  In fact, we are living, as we all know in a fascinating dynamic world of challenges and opportunities. The challenges could be of satellite wars, AIDS, Terrorism and Environmental Pollution.  There is a need for an organized human effort supported by alert human mind to face these challenges and exploit the opportunities by managing the inventions and innovations effectively.

 

    1. Over the past decades, the post war consensus on the welfare state has been undermined by economic crisis, political instability and right-wing social policies.  In all western countries public debate has focused on the reduce it.  Austerity policies have squeezed welfare provisions under Governments of the various parties in India in last decade.  In India all sides are dissatisfied with the old Systems of welfare.  The new right denounces the profligacy and inefficiency of public services while feminists and leftists insist that social welfare provisions must be transferred to establish near democratic forms of socialized provisions.  After fifty years of consensus, the debate about welfare has entered a new phase.
  • When we take stock of our social work education one may like to ask a very pertinent question as to whether this profession would be in a position to handle the social situation of the present society in the third world. I do the concepts, methodology & objectives of Social work profession fit well in the present fast changing social environment. Because of pre occupation of social work education in the third world, the great idea that are of immediate concern revolve around such things as social development, quality of life & conscientization. There are many great ideas that have been carried from the illustrious past by social work education, that one idea that deserves to be attended is the familiar of social change & individualized service as inspirerable concern fore social work profession. To day one man find social case work as an approach  irrelevant to major social  problems, in insignificant in its contribution to social change & ineffective in true content of its claims for  voluntary in Practice.

 

  1. Today literally a  war exists between  those who teach social  policy & those who are concerned with social treatment or otherwise individvilised approaches. A question is being asked in may quite of the world with regard to whether change oriented social work such as community development programmes actually belongs to social work profession e.g.  In funnel the traditional social work is challenged by a new development called social education or  socio – cultural animation, which has emerged from youth movement & popular educational activities, Thus, to day the third world is more concerned about vast social needs that are largely unmet. Consequently social work schools  in Asia are moving from an emphasis on individualised services towards developmental functions  involving large populations.
  2. There are certain criticism passed on Social work education. Some of them are as under.
  • Over professionalisation has led to the failure  of  creating systematic body of knowledge and skill as a base for operation in practice.
  • Social work education is too narrowly technical due to which our graduates have to little or no breadth of vision and also they lack specific technical competence for the jobs in hands.
  • In view of the dilemmas faced by the schools of social work in view the light of paradoxical statements of the critics, there is an apparent need to revitalize the field of social work practice that could meet the demands our requirements of the agencies and also tackle the modern human & social problems. In other words shared expectations by schools & agencies will be highly appreciated. The schools will have to incorparate the needs & expectations of the agencies in their field work practices & in return the agencies will have to incorporate in their functions the established objective of the education and assume educational responsibilities relevant to the filed.
  • Since social work is a profession its code of ethics & appropriate attitude can be & must be communicated in the overall educational process. Effective social work practice requires basic knowledge and skills. They are

a. Understanding of human needs & behaviour.

b. Understanding of human beings interacting with social circumstances.

c. Knowledge of cause  & effect in social and interpersonal disharmony.

d. Knowledge of resources in the community.

e. The skill in the use of professional helping process with individuals, group & communities.

        

An educational programme designed to impart knowledge and skill of this nature would be welcome by expiring professionals agencies and communities. With this background and curriculum development the UGC had appointed review committee in social work in India under the chairmanship of. N.A. Gokarna of T.I.S.S.Mumbai. The Committee has already completed its work and has identified & suggested the curriculum to be adopted for improving both efficiency of the social work education. It has made efforts to be modify the total curriculum that was in vogue for last more than seven decades.

 

In practice the attempts by Governments in India to restructure welfare service have encountered difficulties. Welfare professionals,  trade unions and substantial bodies of public welfare and that appeal of anti-welfare prejudices can create a new consensus of support to such a policy. Others argue that the economic and political consequences of dismantling the welfare state infrastructure would be too great for any developing democracy to face.  The arrack on welfare and debate about the future of welfare services, provide the context for reorganization of social work education curricular,  which will need to include the new series of topics devoted to the “ State of Welfare”  covering the different aspects of welfare state,  analyzing new and merging trends in social work organizations and delivery  of services and the economic and political determinants of welfare policy.


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