31.03.2005 Regional News

Give quality supervision to interns - Dean of Social Studies

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Accra, March 31, GNA - Professor Atsu Ayee, Dean of the Faculty of Social Studies at the University of Ghana on Thursday called on heads of various agencies to give quality supervision to students on internship to improve their competence.

He said there was the need to build competence in students as internship mainly helped to bridge the gap between theoretical issues and practical work.

At a day's workshop to discuss quality field placement for students, Prof. Ayee, noted that most heads were not able to give assessment to the work of a student on internship.

" Sometimes students are absent from work for a week without the knowledge of the head of the organization", he said.

The workshop, which brought together heads of organizations, NGO's and some social work students, has an objective of developing a strong and lasting relationship between agencies, departments and the faculty. Prof Ayee urged placement institutions and organizations to cooperate to enable the students gain the competence needed for work.

Outlining the problems facing the department in giving fieldwork placement to students, the Dean said funding was among the major constraint affecting quality internship for students.

He explained that, for internship programmes to be sustained there was the need to charge a token from students to help solve their feeding and accommodation problems.

The level of commitment on the part of both students and their supervisors, he said, was also very important in achieving quality fieldwork placement for students.

"Students lost interest after about three weeks of field placement and see internship as a form of punishment, and that could be attributed to bad timing".

The Department of Social Work, he said, had an objective of reaching out to other sectors of the social service industry thereby contributing to national development and called on various agencies to support the faculty's fieldwork placement programmes.

Dr Stephen Ayidiya, Head of the Department of Social Work, commended departments and agencies that provide fieldwork placement for social work students and said there was the need to extend the scope of areas in which students have field work training.

He said there would be a series of workshop to help enhance the effectiveness of fieldwork training for social work students. "We hope to reach out to other sectors of the social service industry and contribute our bit to the promotion of the vulnerable people in society," he said.

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