ISSN: 2222-8713
Volume 2, Number 1 (2012)
Issues and challenges of social work practicum in Trinidad and Tobago and India
Emmanuel Janagan Johnson, Kernita-Rose Bailey, Jacqueline Padmore
Education is one of the dominant sectors of the economy in terms of enrolment of students in Trinidad and Tobago and India. The practicum is an integral part of many professional courses in higher education, and is manifest in several different forms depending on the area, such as field experience, case work, group work, community organisation, block placement and clinical practicum. This article provides an overview of different ways in which the practicum has been conceptualised, implemented and evaluated in higher education. It focuses attention on the purpose and value of the practicum; the relationship between the practicum and the learning outcomes of a course as a whole; and the structure and placement of the practicum within a course in Trinidad and Tobago and India. This article discusses the standards of social work practicum and the present condition and challenges of the social work profession in Trinidad and Tobago and India as well as the need to seriously look into the practice methods, in order to improve the quality of practice and also to face the new upcoming challenges in better way. This article intends to contribute to the scholarship on social work education, with specific emphasis on the social work practicum, by comparing the structure, issues and challenges facing the social work practicum in India and Trinidad and Tobago. The article will focus on the social work practicum at Bharathiar University in India and the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine on the island of Trinidad. The fact that these countries are both developing countries is of interest in the comparative analysis.