“Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.” –Theodore N. Vail
Social Work Education in India
Time for a change
Social Work Education and its professional practice within the country should focus on current realities and being application oriented
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1:3:Issues related to society : Education : Human value & Socialization
Social work education can be regulated in India. Discuss the role of modern civil society -(GS 1,3)
- Issues related to Social Work
- Statutory provisions
- Way Forward
Higher education in India is regulated through autonomous bodies.
Some of the prominent bodies are:
- University Grants Commission (UGC)
- The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE)
- The Medical Council of India (MCI)
- The Bar Council of India (BCI) among others.
This allows for a professional outlook and facilitation of research at the macro level.
- While addressing current social issues, it also needs to consider emerging realities and focus on being application-oriented and generation of skills.
- MONITORING : A mechanism to monitor the methodology and evaluation of Social Work Education is required.
- CLARIFICATIONS NEEDED : There seems to be no coherence in terms of syllabus, teaching practices, field work and evaluation at various levels.
- INFRASTRUCTURAL LAG : However, adequate infrastructural facilities are lacking and there is no adherence to the requisite norms.
- CLEAR APPROACH : The approach to social work education also needs to change.
- RECONDITIONING SYLLABUS : The syllabus has to be overhauled by removing outdated concepts and incorporating current and future needs like the emerging rise of civil societies.
- CONCEPT OF CSR : The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) that makes corporates take on the role of service providers in the social sector.
- HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX : HDI being the benchmark for progress today, the standard of social work education is important to address the different needs of various communities.
- INCLUSIONS : The inclusion of disability along with modern rehabilitative systems is essential.
- LARGER MASSES : Social Work Education should also encompass working with special groups such as adolescents, victims of natural calamities, the elderly, self-help groups, and others.
- STATUTORY MEASURES : Social legislations have to be reviewed and newer acts must be included, as must topics like human rights, community health, social networking, NGO management, fund raising and communication strategies.
- INVOLVING EXPERTISE : The involvement of practising professionals in designing the course, teaching and evaluation will also add value.
- NATURAL BLEND : Most important is the blend of classroom teaching and practical field work training.
- ‘The National Council for Professional Social Work Bill, 1993’, which sought to get a national status for the profession, did not see the light of day.
- More recently, ‘The National Council of Professional Social Work Practitioners Bill, 2018’ sought to establish a national council of professional social work practitioners to coordinate, develop and regulate professional practice of social work in India.
- PROFESSIONAL AUTHORITY : Statutory provisions can exercise a professional authority on the implementation of Social Work Education.
- COUNSELLING BODY : The council can offer recommendations on various social policies adopted by local, state and central governments.
- MORE INTERACTIONS : It can also facilitate interaction and networking between professional social work and other allied disciplines.
- DEGREE OF AUTONOMY : While such a council may initially seem to take away the autonomy and freedom of individual institutions.
It will be in the larger interest of enhancing the professional status of social work and its relevance for the future.