Mangaluru: The School of Social Work, Roshni Nilaya in collaboration with Karnataka Association of Professional Social Workers and Coastal Karnataka Social Work Educators and partnering universities hosted a Webinar on “National Council for Social Work Education in India (NCSWE)– scope and way forward” on Monday July 12 at 4.30 pm.
The webinar saw eminent social workers coming together on a single platform with a common goal of educating future social workers on the importance of having a social work committee and the need to legitimise social work as a formal profession.
Dr. Juliet CJ, Principal School of Social Work, Roshni Nilaya provided a bird’s eye view on the historical growth of social work education in the coastal region of Karnataka and stressed upon the importance of field work in social work education and encouraged all institutions to optimally use local resources. She further stressed on the need for developing unity and collaboration among the social work fraternity.
Gandhi Doss, Professor Emeritus, Bangalore University and Central University, Jammu and also President of India Network of Professional Social Worker Association, highlighted the importance of having an identity established especially for a profession and encouraged the participants to fight for our identity. He noted that this webinar is a good beginning and is a stepping stone for future progress.
Dr. Sanjai Bhatt, Professor, Delhi School of Social Work and also National Convenor of National Council for Social Work Education (NCSWE)– National Campaign Committee, stressed the importance of having a council for any profession that gives it legitimacy. It also helps regulate processes and helps in coordination. He also expressed concern about the lack of appropriate job opportunities and poor employability of the social work graduates. According to the Volunteer Survey conducted in 2019, there are close to 7 lakh students pursuing a degree in BSW and MSW. He expressed the need to form a council that would help aspiring social workers get the right kind of employment. Dr. Bhatt also took the audience through the journey of the NCSWE and the campaign strategies followed which included improving the education quality of social work and to increase awareness among the policy makers and the University Grants Commission (UGC) about social work profession. He encouraged all budding social workers to start today to work towards legitimising the profession.
N.V. Vasudeva Sharma, Executive Director of Child Rights Trust (CRT), Bengaluru and also the President of Karnataka Association of Professional Social Workers (KAPSW) reiterated Dr. Bhatt’s views and informed the gathering that having a social work council will remove major hurdles faced by social work graduates in getting appropriate employment opportunities. He lauded the efforts of the organisers and requested all to work towards the realization of the goal.
Dr. Murli Desai, former professor and Head, Social Work Education and Practice Cell, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and the Convener of Drafting Committee of, National Council for Social Work Education Bill, 2021 took the audience through the drafting, the constitution, committees, panels and the current status of the bill. She also highlighted the key aspects of the bill that have direct impact on the way of education such as registration and the establishment of a code of ethics. Notably, the bill takes inspiration from and was drafted in line with the current social work education.
Dr. Ipe Varghese, Head, Department of Social Work, BCM College, Kottayam as well as General Secretary of Kerala Association of Professional Social Workers and Convener of South India Zone of Campaign for National Council for Social Work highlighted the importance of having a voice and speaking out. He encouraged all social workers to disseminate the information to the local levels so that more people are involved and active in making the bill a reality. He indicated that the social work fraternity is currently 6 lakh members strong and growing and encouraged all these professionals to come together and work towards this goal.