Zambia

Social work training institutions

  • University of Zambia, Department of Social Work and Sociology
  • Mulungushi University, School of Social Sciences

History of social services and social work

The Oppenheimer College of Social Service (now Ridgeway Campus) was opened in 1962, and started with a 3-year diploma programme. At this point, in many countries, training was offered in social services or social science and not social work as presently. The methods of social work that were taught were casework, group work, community work and fieldwork. Students were mainly mature, with experience in social problems. The fight for independence was worn in 1964, and the government of Kenneth Kaunda embarked on improving social services, including higher education. The University of Zambia (first university in the country) was founded 2 years later. The Oppenheimer College became a department of the new university. The social service program now included a four year degree. However, improvements in education resulted in more younger university students who did not have experience of social problems, and as Brown (1971) said, the younger students were coming from boarding schools or from well to do urban families, and they were ‘…unrelated to, and often unaware of, the background of those who sought help. Not only did they lack life experiences of use in training, but also the methods of education in many schools had encouraged a spoon-feeding attitude to learning’ (p. 43). Brown further made remarks that are essential for today’s decolonization agenda. These remarks are quoted below:

“Social work must be related to the task of social development, that is,. assisting people to take advantage of and facilitate the multiple changes in the nation., which are too frequently seen in terms of economic development alone. In Zambia, change involves the effects of urbanization, the erosion of the extended family structure, the role of women and a whole range of attitudes and beliefs.

The Oppenheimer Department shares with the profession and the employing agencies responsibility for the development of Zambian social work, responsive to Zambian problems which have to be tackled within the present Zambian situation.

Such social work has to be related to the Zambian past, firmly committed to finding solutions to present problems, and maturely involved in development for the future”, (1971, p. 47).

Kenneth Buchizya Kaundaโ€™s contribution to the philosophy of African humanism (ubuntu) and pan-African theory


Please provide additional information about social services and social work in this country

Use the form below to add details about this country. The following details can be added: names of social work training institutions, history of social work, details of founders or prominent people in social work and names of social work association or council.