The Department of Social Work, University of Ilorin, held her 2018 World Social Work Day Programme themed ‘Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability’ at Communication and Information Science Lecture Theatre, University of Ilorin.
The World Social Work Day is an annual programme held every third Tuesday of March. This year, the Social Work Department hosted it in collaboration with Medical Social Service Department, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital.
Dr A. A. Abdullahi, The Head of Social Work Department in his welcome address praised the Executives for their hardwork and the students for their support.
The HOD informed the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics; Prof, N. Y. S. Ijaiya, represented by Director of Counseling and Human Development Centre, Unilorin, on the problems of the department and pleaded for assistance.
He listed the problems as failure of accreditation, use of wrong curriculum and shortage of staffs. He concluded by saying that “the University cannot fail the Department.”
The Dean of Social Science and Chief Host; Prof. B. Salawu, represented by the Head of Department of Psychology; Dr Obayemi, gave his speech stating that social work is gaining recognition, and people can get to know about its existence through programmes.
The speaker emphasized that, social work is “an integral part of medical services” and social workers determine how effective a doctor’s treatment will be.
The Director, Counseling and Human Development Centre, Unilorin, representing the DVC Academics, said “social workers are next to God” and that they cannot work for their pay as their reward is in heaven.
The speaker oriented the students on the role of social workers which included counselling, advocacy and role modeling but not limited to.
She concluded by informing the HOD of Social Work that all departmental problems have been noted as the school administration was already looking into it.
The first keynote speaker; Dr M. M. B. Usman, from the department of Epidemiology and Community Health, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, stated that social work aims at ensuring a healthy life and community.
The speaker revealed that environmental sustainability will occur when we “maintain balance between man and environment”.
He stated various way to promote environmental sustainability, which include; participating in prominent global initiatives and collaboration; adopting a recycling culture; minimizing waste; planting more trees, strengthen social work services and sundry.
The second keynote speaker, HOD of Department of Geography and ASUU Chaiman; Dr U. A. Raheem, delivered a speech on environmental sustainability focusing on the cultural aspect of environment as it involved other social science disciplines.
He explained the unsustainable exploitation of resources which include loss of biological diversity and 17 million hectares of tropical forest getting destroyed each year.
He mentioned that, generations to come will experience more shortage of resources as humans presently are managing to survive. This is because population is increasing and resources are decreasing.
The speaker devised that the professionals of social, economic and environmental fields have to work together in harmony to maintain sustainable development because human factor problems always revolve round these three interrelated and interconnected fields.
Raheem clamoured for change in the curriculum of social science so that students can be trained on multi-discipines to provide social dimensions on the subject matter as “we have been training sociologists, economists, social workers, we should train social scientists,” he said.
Other dignitaries were Dean of Faculty of Medical Sciences; Prof. Afolayan, Director of Brostal Training Institute; Ma Awoyemi, Sub-dean of Student Affairs; Dr. Alex Akanmu, Director for Center for Peace and Strategic Studies, HOD Medical Sciences, HOD Economics, HOD Political Science, HOD Sociology, Prof Ijaya from Economics Department and the Student Union President.
OJEBODE, Sewueseter Tomi