Approximately 100 staff members of the Department of Social Welfare (JKM) from throughout Malaysia were awarded the Executive Certificate in Social Work Practice (SPEC), which is centred on improving the competence of the JKM staff in accordance with the social work profession in delivering services to the general public.
The Director-General of the Department of Social Welfare, Dato’ Zulkiply Ramli, said that the objective of the programme was to produce officers who were equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills, as well as to foster the values of social work among the staff of the department, in line with the social work profession.
He elaborated that the programme, which ran from September 2015 to August 5, 2016, saw the involvement of cohorts 6, 7, and 8 in efforts to improve the quality and competence of the workforce at JKM.
"The social work learning model included in the course was tailor-made to suit the needs of stakeholders in developing frontline officers, throughout the nation, who are competent and evince attributes that are of a high quality.
"Those enrolled in this programme have achieved excellent results, particularly in the practicum session, with a score over 80%.
"I believe that the facilities and equipment provided by UUM, such as accommodation, transport, meals, and lecture rooms that are conducive to learning, provided the right impetus to the JKM staff’s efforts towards achieving excellent results," he said.
He expressed his expectation that the five-year cooperative programme would be continued in the future so as to help the JKM staff contribute substantially towards enabling the department to play a more dynamic role and to function much more effectively, especially in its process of delivering service and support.
This programme, which is the fruit of the collaborative efforts of JKM, the School of Applied Psychology, Social Work and Policy (SAPSP), and the Executive Education & Professional Development (EEPD) Unit, Awang Had Salleh Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (AHSGS), is a mechanism that affords the JKM staff the opportunity of undergoing an accredited training programme commensurate with their role as social work practitioners.
The Certificate Presentation Ceremony was officiated by the Vice-Chancellor of UUM, Prof. Dato' Seri Dr. Mohamed Mustafa Ishak, at EDC Hotels & Resorts.
The Best Student Certificate was awarded to the top student of each cohort, who was chosen based on commitment shown, quality and personality, and academic achievement throughout the duration of the programme.
Meanwhile, the Best Student of cohort 8, Syarifah Khairulaumah Syed Ariffin, said that the 10-day learning experience had increased the knowledge base and added new skills that, together, would go a long way towards raising the level of professionalism amongst the JKM staff.
"It's been fun learning a lot of new things that I had never experienced before. I do hope my friends will be able to apply the knowledge and skills learned, as well as enhance their competence and quality in efforts to provide outstanding service to the target group," she said.
She also expressed her hope that the programme would encourage the JKM staff to continue soaring upwards in their efforts to achieve higher academic qualifications in the future.