“Integrate industrial social work in curriculum” – UI Don tells Universities

By – Aduwo Ayodele

A lecturer of Industrial Social Work at the Department of Social Work, University of Ibadan, Professor Emmanuel Majekodunmi Ajala has on Monday, May 21, 2024 urged universities offering social work courses to incorporate industrial social work in their curricular.

Professor Ajala made these declarations on Wednesday while delivering his valedictory lecture titled “I will continue where you have stopped: The Interplay between human resources managers and social workers in the workplace”.

Professor Ajala noted that it was necessary in a bid to allow industrial social work professionals upgrade their educational programme and professional skills for practice in a highly dynamic and changing business environment.

Professor Ajala suggested that there should be more awareness on the role of industrial social workers in the society.

The Don maintained that social work is still an emerging profession in the country, while adding that the signing of the Nigerian Council for Social Work [Establishment] Act 2022 into law by former President Muhammadu Buhari will make the practice of social work come to terms with worldwide standard.

“Although social work is still emerging in Nigeria, it has demonstrated consistent expansion due to the increasing number of professionals undergoing training. In Nigeria, certain higher educational institutions have already incorporated social work as a component of their curriculum, offering courses at the undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral levels” Professor Ajala said.

“There is need for proper integration of industrial social work in the curriculum of social work practice in Nigeria and at the various academic social work curricula in Nigerian universities. This is based on the fact that industrial social work professionals need to upgrade their educational programme and professional skills for practice in a highly dynamic and changing business environment. There is need for synergy between industrial social worker and human resources personnel” Professor Ajala added.

“The National Assembly, on June 28, 2022, concurrently passed the bill establishing the National Council for Social Work (Establishment Bill 2022) into law which President Buhari signed on December 6, 2022. The bill now is an Act (No 25, 2022). The signing of the bill into law will make the practice of social work in the country align with worldwide standards” Professor Ajala said.

The Nigerian Council for Social Work (NCSW) and its board were established by the federal government with the aim of ensuring rigorous adherence to operational standards that regulate the practice of social work in Nigeria.

The governing body is legally obligated to ensure rigorous adherence to all legislations that govern the practice of social work in Nigeria.

The body would serve as a central hub for the development of draft policies and initiatives pertaining to the enhancement of the social service workforce in Nigeria, with the aim of promoting uniformity and standardisation.

“Board members are also expected to oversee all aspects of social work education and practice in Nigeria. Because social work as a profession is still in the developmental stage in Nigeria, it has not got many specialised areas. Among the few specialised areas, industrial social work has had the least awareness” Professor Ajala noted.

The valedictory lecture was attended by the VIce Chancellor of the university, Professor Kayode Adebowale who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Professor Peter Olapegba; Dean of Faculty of Education, Professor Olufemi Adegbesan; Head of Department of Social Work, Dr. Titilola Adebowale; and immediate past Secretary to Osun state government, Prince Wole Oyebamiji and his wife.

Other personalities at the event are Professor G.O. Mojoyinola, Professor Lydia Yemisi Olaleye, Professor James Ayangunna, Professor Emeka Okafor, Professor Kabiru Salami, Dr. Isaiah Mobolaji Ojedokun, Dr. Abdulateef Adeoti, Dr. Abimbola Afolabi and Dr. Helen Fatoye among others.


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