Developing Social Work Education in Africa

Challenges and prospects

Authored by: Rodreck Mupedziswa , Kefentse Kubanga

Routledge International Handbook of Social Work Education

Print publication date:  April  2016
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138890237
eBook ISBN: 9781315712536
Adobe ISBN: 9781317495239


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In Africa, social work education has had a chequered history essentially because of its colonial heritage. At its inception in the 1930s, social work education was guided by Eurocentric values and cultural norms, and the situation has not changed much today. Gray, Kreitzer, and Mupedziswa (2014: 102) cite Nagpaul (1993: 214) as stating that social work came to Africa grounded in values and ideologies stemming from capitalism, social Darwinism, the Protestant ethic and individualism. Hence, the profession has failed to live up to expectations, and many of its clientele continue to be short-changed due to ineffective interventions. This paper explores the development of social work education in Africa beginning with a historical account, and then gives an overview of the current state of affairs, including a broad brush account of the call for adoption of a social development orientation. It concludes by considering prospects for the future.

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