Department of Social Work Commemorates DSRA

A group photo of participants at the event

The Department of Social Work joined the University community, particularly the College of Humanities, to celebrate the Day of Scientific Renaissance of Africa (DSRA) at the Kofi Drah Conference Room on the theme “Bridging the Gap between Academia and Social Work Practice”. 

Representatives from both government and non-governmental organisations who supervise students of Social Work on fieldwork participated in the event. A section of graduate students and faculty members of the Department of Social Work were also in attendance.

In her welcome address, the Head, Department of Social Work, Dr. Augustina Naami, mentioned that the faculty members in the Department continue to engage in productive research, which is published in reputable high-impact peer-reviewed journals, but their publications remain on shelves and online databases. She indicated that the theme for the occasion is a call for academia to work hand-in-hand with industry to find lasting solutions to existing and emerging social problems.

The Provost of the College of Humanities, Prof. Dan Ofori provided some background information on DSRA and indicated that the DSRA had come to stay and will be celebrated annually. In reference to five faculty who were promoted to the status of Senior Lecturer in 2021, he confirmed the assertion that the faculty of the Department of Social Work is very productive. Prof. Ofori commended the Department and encouraged faculty and staff to continue the good work. 

Provost of the College of Humanities, Prof. Dan Ofori

In brief remarks, the Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Professor George Owusu, affirmed that the DSRA creates a platform for lecturers to showcase their scholarly works. He called on social work academics to exhibit new scholarly works next year. 

Four presentations on the scholarly works of social work faculty set the stage for engagement with social work practitioners. Professor Mavis Dako-Gyeke’s presentation focused on stigma and discrimination among minority groups in society, as well as migration issues faced by the youth. Dr. Augustina Naami addressed the systemic access barriers that persons with disabilities encounter and the impact on their socio-economic participation and overall wellbeing. The third presentation by Dr. Jones Adu-Gyamfi highlighted the child panel system in Ghana and questioned whether it is a creative or superfluous system. Dr. Kingsley Mort’s presentation looked at financial capacity and asset building and recommended financial literacy for social work practitioners working with vulnerable populations. After the presentations, participants were given the opportunity to ask questions and discuss various issues which emerged from the presentations.
There was an exhibition of scholarly works by several faculty members of the Department, which gave practitioners the opportunity to engage faculty on their publications. In addition, there was a general discussion with practitioners on the way forward on bridging the gap between academia and practice. The need for regular engagement between social work practitioners and social work faculty to discuss the research needs of practitioners was emphasised. 
In his closing remarks, Dr. Kofi Ohene Konadu, a former Head of Department of Social Work, commended the Department and encouraged practitioners to continue to support the Department, especially in the area of fieldwork supervision.