By Leon Suseran
Vice- Chancellor of the University Of Guyana (UG), Prof. Jacob Opadeyi, has promised additional degree programmes for the Berbice Campus. These would include a Degree in Biology and a Degree in Banking to empower the banking sector in Berbice.
Both Vice Chancellor Opadeyi and Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Jennifer Webster, launched the Bachelors Degree in Social Work Programme recently at University of Guyana Berbice Campus.
Students who have completed the Diploma in Social Work are now excited to pursue studies in the degree programme. They have been relieved of the cost and other factors to travel to Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara.
Prof. Opadeyi, while opening the programme at the Berbice Campus, opined that Guyana’s social issues are more “phenomenal” than its economic, engineering and science issues.
Ms. Dionne Frank, Head of Department of the Department of Sociology, in her overview of the programme, stated that the Diploma was launched in 1971, eighteen years before the Degree programme was introduced.
Over four semesters, students would take 20 courses, including Social Work Practice, Introduction to Counseling, Social Psychology, Gender and Development, Social Work and the Aging, among any others.
Minister Dr. Jennifer Webster stated that the launch is a “significant step taken by the UG Administration to support the social sector in Guyana through training and development of quality social services programme.” Dr. Webster added, too, that social service professionals (social workers) should see themselves “key and critical to Guyana’s development.”
She underscored the crucial role social workers play in transforming society including women, children, elderly as well as persons with disabilities and other vulnerable persons.
She committed to the establishment of a state-of-the-art Counseling Centre for Berbice, especially given the number of social problems, such as suicide, which exist in the area. She implored the students to pursue the degree programme only if they are passionate in helping others. It was urged, too, that a certifying body in Guyana be established to license and certify Social Workers.
It was additionally urged by UG Lecturer, Ms. Paulette Henry, that the Ministry of Education (MoE) professionally recognizes teachers who have attained the Social Work qualifications from UG.
Also present at the launch was Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Dr. Paloma Mohamed as well as Ms. Marianne Flach, UNICEF Representative to Guyana and Suriname.
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