Online Discussion on NMCT-JOBA-Educational Institutions Collaboration
25th Feb 2022
NMCT’s State Level Co-ordination meeting with Social Work Departments. NGOs and Educational Institution’s collaboration has multiple benefits. Social Work is a profession which demands a lot of experience in field. In other words practical knowledge of the subject is very important.
Therefore, this collaboration started way back just like any other branch of knowledge or practice of knowledge. Fieldwork in Social Work also needs to be updated from time to time.
Native Medicare Charitable Trust (NMCT) is being involved in providing field work, internships and block placement for Social Work students for a long time. The diversity in our projects can be a great aspect for a Social Work student as he/she will be able to touch upon different issues and different approaches of Social Work.
But it is a fact that Covid pandemic did affect students in a big way as it was hard to find agencies for field work. It was challenging for the NGOs also to provide training to students with the restrictions imposed. But even in these hard times, NMCT had managed to conduct both physical and virtual trainings to students. With the changing culture of our education, we felt that this is the right time to make some updates in our curriculum for students.
To make this a reality, NMCT wanted insight on the needs of a student and educational institutions. Keeping this in mind, HODs of Social Work departments, prominent personalities in the field of education and training were invited for a State Level Virtual Meet to discuss on fieldwork, internship and block placement of Social Work students on 25th of February 2022.
Mr. Shanmugam, Senior Regional Director of IGNOU, Madurai gave the Chief Guest Address spoke about the importance of field workers and shared his wish of every work taken up by them becoming successful. He shared the possible partnership with IGNOU in Internship Program. Curriculum formed by NMCT for MSW students was displayed which was divided into five sections namely Theory, Practical Experience, Interpersonal Development, Development towards Technical Aspects and Recognition.
Mr.A.S.Sankaranarayanan, Managing Trustee-NMCT discussed on the future plans of NMCT in which the major focus is on Organizing Certificate/Diploma Courses with Universities/IGNOU. Dr.Lovelina Little Flower, HoD, Department of Social Work, Bharathiar University put forth her opinion that Social Work was one of the most affected professions from Covid pandemic. Students were not able to go for field work and stated their efforts in overcoming the difficulties like shifting to virtual medium from physical.
Dr.Sethurama Subbaiah, Former HoD of Department of Social Work, Bharathiar University promised that colleges from Andhra Pradesh will be joining hands with NMCT very soon.
Dr. John Britto, Managing Director, JOBA, Australia spoke about 3G Clubs – which is associated with activities having social impact. Dr.Rajan, Secretary of Bishop Appasamy College of Education requested to establish a resource centre and also hire an expert specifically to train students. He stressed on the importance of networking and embracing the developments in technology.
Dr.Paranjothi Ramalingam, Former HoD of SRKV Department of Social Work suggested to make a curriculum for field work in which changes in today’s world should be taken care of. Apart from these suggestions, many HoDs and Faculties from various institutions shared their opinion and suggestions to develop and strengthen the Field Work Curriculum for Social Work students.
As recognition for the meeting was participation of overseas personalities serving in Skill Development and Education. The State Level Virtual Meeting opened up opportunities for NMCT as well as Educational Institutions.
The inclusion of personalities from training institute and in the area of Education resulted in discussion of the use of collaborations in expanding the scope of the training programs provided to Social Work students. Most of the suggestions were pointing towards collaborations between institutions.
The meeting also witnessed the scope of the student program going beyond the borders as student exchange from different countries was a part of the discussion. Collaborations with International Organizations will undoubtedly result in improved quality of programs.
On the whole, the virtual meeting has put forward the scope of a lot of collaborations and few suggestions to look upon.
Report prepared by: NMCT