Sunday Mail Correspondent
THE Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare has rescinded the Council of Social Workers’ (CSW) decision to suspend social work programmes in some of the country’s universities saying it was not the council’s prerogative to make the call.
CSW recently issued a statement suspending social work programmes at Women’s University in Africa, Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University and Africa University citing limited compliance to set regulations. However, in a statement released yesterday, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima expressed shock at CSW’s actions adding that training and registration of social workers in affected institutions will continue as planned.
“The Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare has learnt with shock and disbelief the suspension of social work training in some universities within the country by the Council of Social Workers,” he said.
“As the appointing authority for the Council of Social Workers, the Minister would like to retract the statement. The training and registration of social workers will continue and students on industrial attachment will proceed as planned.”
Minister Mavima said they would convene an urgent meeting to discuss the issue with stakeholders including the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation and Technological Development, CSW, the Zimbabwe Council of Higher Education and all universities offering social work training.
“The Ministry believes in engagement and also values quality of social work training as a means of protecting beneficiaries and other vulnerable members of society,” he said.
“The Ministry regrets the inconvenience caused by the suspension statement issued by the Council of Social Workers.”
In announcing the suspensions, CSW Board Chairperson Tugwell Chadyiwanembwa argued that the said universities were failing to adhere to a number of regulatory laws and policies which include the Zimbabwe Minimum Standards for Social Work Training and the Social Workers Act.
“The CSW therefore strongly urges the concerned training institutions to comply with the suspension of social work training and ensure full compliance with the aforesaid policies and laws,” said Mr Chadyiwanembwa.
“In fact, the CSW will discuss with affected training institutions on their proposed action plans. CSW will not recognise any training that could have been taking place after the communication of suspension of social work training programmes.”
Minister Mavima said CSW had no right to issue such instructions.