Social work students ready to take-up their responsibility

Annette Willemse -- Mon, 10/06/2014 - 15:31

Social work students ready to take-up their responsibility 

Social Work students of the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal) recently declared themselves ready to take on the responsibilities of social work practice.


Students in the professional four year Bachelor in Social Work degree programme (within the School of Behavioural Sciences), make a solemn declaration during the second year of their studies. It is at this point during their studies when students begin to apply their knowledge in practice and help clients during practical work. During the special event students make a declaration to always perform their duties in an ethical and just manner.

Ms Thuli Msimanga, junior social work lecturer, says that there have been six solemn declaration events since 2009. She was part of the first group as a student at the NWU Vaal Triangle Campus and it gives her great pleasure to have been part of the organising team for the event this year.

According to Ms Msimanga, when students take the declaration, they have an understanding of the uniqueness, responsibility of self-determination and ultimate worth of every human being – irrespective of status, culture, gender, religion, lifestyle and other differences – in a society in which all members share the same basic rights, security opportunities, obligations and social benefits.

To celebrate the students’ declaration, Ms Thuli Msimanga and Mrs Elne van Niekerk from Academic Development and Support on campus came up with the theme of the day 'the Oscars’. “We thought it will be nice to link the certificate ceremony with a big award show just to make the event special and unique for the students. And most importantly, make them feel like stars,” said Ms Msimanga.

The guest speaker, Mrs Rossy Moeketsi, Social Work Supervisor from Department of Social Development’s Sedibeng Regional office, stressed the importance of staying ethical in her discussion. She focused on the fact that the work environment students will face is fraught with uncertainty and unpredictability, which will require them to always be ready to deliver first-rate services to all service users in a manner that is both ethical and in keeping with the law.

“Regardless of the challenges they will face as social workers, the students can never lose sight of the lives they will be responsible for. Social workers, who perform poorly and ignore ethics and legislation, are irresponsible and gambling with their careers and lives of families and children. Social workers perform a very important role in communities to protect and speak for those who are unable to do so themselves,” said Mrs Moeketsi.

To help students always remember the important responsibility they undertake by making this declaration and to show that social workers are stars because of the difference they make in communities, a compilation of movie clips was shown from relevant movie scenes with the students as the main characters.

Mrs Moeketsi thanked family and friends for their support and the students for taking the direction they have, as it takes courage and passion for human development to be in the profession.