The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security has held discussions with the University of Guyana (UG) to identify ways in which UG’s Social Work Programme and possibly the Sociology Programme can become more relevant to the Ministry’s work.
Minister Dr. Vindhya Persaud; Deputy Permanent Secretary, Anjanie Ramlall; Senior UG Lecturer and Sociologist, Mr. Andrew Hicks, and Coordinator of Post-Graduate Studies in the Department of Sociology, Ms. Debbie Hopkinson examined this issue during a meeting on Tuesday. The meeting was held at the Ministry’s East and Lamaha Streets location.
“We want them to look at areas that are not captured by the current programme so that when someone graduates from UG with the degrees, they can fill some of the existing specialised gaps with regard to children and elderly, among others,” Minister Persaud explained.
In reviewing the programme, the University wants to see how it can still include a practical component at the Ministry in spite of the COVID-19 restrictions.
A major focus of the meeting was the licensing of social workers.
The meeting was very fruitful at laying the groundwork for the current Diploma and Masters Programmes to be updated so that they can be more applicable to the social work that is required by the Ministry.
The meeting also explored the possibility that UG can offer a social work certificate programme as part of Women’s Innovation and Investment Network (WIIN) which can lead to an associate degree and then into other programmes.
While the UG representatives are working to change the curriculum to capture more restorative justice for youth and women, Minister Persaud proposed stress and anger management, family therapy, counselling, case report writing, elder and child abuse.
The University has also undertaken to provide training to social workers who are currently in the system and may need to update their knowledge in the field.