On Thursday, 12 October 2023, the University of Venda’s (UNIVEN) Department of Social Work held a Colloquium under the theme ‘Redefining the pedagogy of Social Work: Roles and responsibilities of institutions in fieldwork trajectory’. The colloquium took place at the University’s Research Conference Centre and was attended by staff and students from the universities of Venda and Limpopo (UL).
In his keynote Address, Dr Mbedzi who is the HoD: Social Work at UNISA and the President of the South African Council for Social Services Professions (SACSSP), Dr Paul Mbedzi spoke under the topic: the role of council on work integrated learning. His presentation covered matters such as the structure of the SACSSP. He mentioned that the SACSSP executes its mandate through its council, two professions boards and the secretariat. Dr Mbedzi continued to mention that the core mandate of SACSSP is to protect and promote the interest of the profession of Social Work, child, and youth care work.
“This is to maintain and enhance the prestige, status integrity, dignity of the professions and to protect the public. We want to ensure that every social service professional registered with the SACSSP is qualified and able to render quality services to individuals, groups, and communities in an ethical professional and effective manner.
The Director: Research and Innovation, Prof Jabulani Makhubele said UNIVEN has signed many Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with various communities. Prof Makhubele advised the social work departments of both universities to work with their communities. “Start solving local communities ’challenges before you can serve other communities outside this province. We need to enter these spaces and start making our communities better places. We don’t need to travel to places that are far in order to service communities. Start here in Limpopo before you can spread to other places.”. “We need to be relevant and make impact. The aim is to make footprints in our communities,” he said.
Dr Jimmy Budeli who is the UNIVEN Interim HOD: Social Work gave the Departmental remarks. He indicated that the Social Work Department produces graduates that are locally relevant and globally competitive. He mentioned number of social work graduates that are working abroad, in countries such as United Kingdom, United States of America, Ireland, etc. This is an indication that, indeed, Univen social work graduates are competing amongst other graduates in the world. He also mentioned that students should also take opportunities to study abroad. He shared with the attendees that one of the social work graduates and now a lecturer in Sociology Rudzani Mamphweli pursued his postgraduate studies at Zech Republic, where he had opportunities to travel more than 10 countries.
He encouraged final year social work students who were in attendance to look for the opportunities to study and work in other countries. In his department remarks he also mentioned that this Colloquium was done in honor of Prof Lobelo David Mogorosi who will be retiring at the end of this year.
Presentations were delivered by Ms Livhuwani Mafela (Junior Lecturer – UNIVEN); Ms Tsireledzo Sikhitha (Part Time Lecturer-UNIVEN); Mrs Motshidisi Kwakwa and Mr Thembinkosi Singwane -University of Limpopo)
Former UNIVEN HoD: Department of Social Work, Prof Lobelo Mogorosi indicated that social work is not a profession for making people wealthy but to assist people to get emotional satisfaction. “It is more of a calling profession where you are called to help people to overcome their challenges. Prof Mogorosi started his career in this field 40 years ago.
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Date: 16 October 2023