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MSWE-010: Social Work in African Context

MSWE-010: Social Work in African Context

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: MSWE-010/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: MSWE-010

Assignment Name: Social Work in African Context

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Answer all the five questions. All questions carry equal marks. Answers to question no. 1 and 2 should not exceed 600 words each


Q1) Discuss the historical evolution of social work education in Africa.

Ans) The historical evolution of social work education in Africa is as follows:


African Universities: Historical Context

Numerous colleges in Africa were founded in the past to serve the demands of the conquerors and the colonial institutions that were transported from their native countries. Therefore, social work history and practise were mostly taught to African university students from a European perspective, with little focus on how social supports developed in Africa. It is hardly unexpected that social work education in Africa is taught from a Eurocentric perspective. The conquerors realised that in order to govern Africans, they needed to regulate education, especially in colleges.


Education may affect consciousness and awareness, and if coloniser information were imparted to pupils, there would be less conflict. In the early years leading up to independence, James Johnson, Africanus Horton, and Edward Blyden's activism helped to foster some opposition to this Eurocentric university system. For instance, the apartheid-colonial curriculum was criticised for its reliance on scientific racism and for seeking to disprove the humanity of Africans as well as to demonstrate both their inferiority and flawed character as subhumans. Missionary education was criticised as being slavery of the mind and worse than slavery of the body.


Four aspects of the colonial heritage in higher education needed to be changed after African colleges came under their own management, according to Ajayi et al.

  1. Instead of training elites to support colonial administrations and so exploiting their own people, educate individuals to defend and respect traditional systems.

  2. Instead, than sticking with European curricula that don't satisfy the demands of the developing country, deliver curricula with an African focus that do.

  3. Instead of maintaining university structures and management as exact duplicates of those found in European universities, reduce the hierarchy.

  4. Instead of simply the elites, all Africans should have access to education.



African Universities: Current Status

Many of these historical occurrences that have impeded universities' efforts to be African-centred, independent, and productive are still present at Sub-Saharan African universities today. Universities in these nations have had difficulty generating endogenous innovation and tracing their cultural roots due to the euro-centric system of higher education. As a result, there is a conflict between emphasising indigenous values and issues and addressing global issues, a conflict that can only be reduced or eliminated via dialogue across cultural barriers.


They make a distinction between the notions of an "African university" and a "university located in Africa," and they believe that this issue needs to be carefully considered. Van Wyk and Higgs claim that the university in Africa is typically a European university with the following traits:

  1. Between theory and practise with a more or less clear divide.

  2. It has prioritised independence and aloofness to the point of total irrelevance.

  3. It has a history of elitism on both the social and intellectual levels.

  4. As an organisation whose primary goal is to find the truth, it has attempted to be an ivory tower.


The challenges surrounding African social work education are closely related to the lingering effects of western education, the desire to compete with European colleges, and the desire to be black on the exterior and European on the inside. African social work's contributions are frequently overlooked in African social work classrooms, while international social workbooks provide little attention to discussing African social work as a crucial component of social work development globally.


Q2) What are nine major guiding principles of social security as enunciated by Robert Ball? Discuss in detail.

Ans) The nine major guiding principles of social security as enunciated by Robert Ball are as follows:

  1. Universal: With more than 142 million working Americans contributing to Social Security in 1997, coverage has been gradually expanded over the years to the point where 96 out of 100 employees in paid employment are now covered.

  2. Earned Right: Social Security is an earned right rather than a statutory one, with eligibility for payments and the benefit rate depending on a person's prior wages. This idea makes a clear distinction between Social Security and welfare and appropriately connects the programme to other earned rights like salaries, fringe benefits, and private pensions.

  3. Wage Related: Social Stability payments are wage-related, supporting the idea that they are earned privileges and acknowledging the connection between one's standard of living while working and the amount of benefits required to attain income security in retirement. Higher earnings receive higher benefits under Social Security, but lower earners receive more in benefits relative to their contributions.

  4. Contributory and Self-Financed: The fact that employees make pre-tax contributions to the system supports the idea of an earned right and offers contributors a moral claim to future rewards that goes beyond legal requirements. Benefit costs are covered in full, together with administrative costs, without help from general government resources.

  5. Redistributive: Paying at least a minimally sufficient benefit to workers who are regularly enrolled and making contributions, regardless of how little they may be paid, is one of Social Security's top priorities. This is done by using a redistribution method that grants lower-paid earners relatively bigger benefits.

  6. Not Means Tested: Unlike welfare, eligibility for Social Security is not based on the beneficiary's assets and income at the time of application. This is a fundamental idea. People are able to increase their savings and create private pension plans because there is no means test in place, giving them the assurance that they won't later face reduced Social Security benefits as a result of having made other retirement income arrangements.

  7. Wage Indexed: The security offered before retirement rises when overall salaries grow since Social Security is portable and follows the worker from job to job. Benefits that were initially received are updated to reflect current salary levels, which reflects increases in production and, consequently, in the overall standard of living. Without this tenet, Social Security would soon start paying payments that did not correspond to the living standards that had previously been established.

  8. Inflation Protected: Social Security pay-outs are safeguarded against inflation once they start by recurrent cost-of-living increases based on the Consumer Price Index. One of Social Security's biggest assets and a feature that sets it apart from other retirement systems is its protection against inflation. Inflation protection is not guaranteed by any private pension plan, and when it does exist, it is limited under state and local programmes.

  9. Compulsory: Social Security makes paying into our own future security mandatory for all of us. Simply said, a voluntary system would not function. Some of us would diligently save, some would haphazardly save, and some would postpone the day of reckoning indefinitely, leaving the community as a whole to pay through a safety-net structure that is considerably less ideal. A mandatory programme avoids the issue of adverse selection, when participants decide whether and how much to participate based on whether their personal circumstances appear favourable.


Q3) Answer any two of the following questions in about 300 words each: 10x2


a) What are the various ethics and values of social work in the African context.

Ans) The important works of John Stuart Mill and Emanuel Kant have left their own culprits in this regard, even though the endeavour to trace the origins of social work principles and ethics takes us a long distance and is difficult to do. They created an ethical framework based on the results of behaviour and hedonism, with the pursuit of enjoyment as the cornerstone of ethics. Always act in a way that will satisfy the greatest amount of people.


The social, political, and legal reforms were significantly impacted by this utilitarianism. Immanuel Kant's contribution to philosophy during the 1800s was substantial. Our ethics are built on responsibility, moral motivation, and eventually respect for other people thanks to Kant's rigorous philosophical theory. These two people have established the foundation for ideals that will endure in the helpful social profession.


The profession's early interest in the importance of charity has its roots in religion and the Bible. All major world religions promote the moral principles of charity, obligation, reciprocal responsibility, compassion, and consideration for others' well-being. The majority of religious people truly believe that God gives a passion to stand up for vulnerable groups of people who can't speak for themselves: the unborn, the persecuted, the poor, the imprisoned, the mistreated, the disadvantaged, and those who are denied justice. These religious affirmations' congruence with social work values is so clear and concise.


With the rise of the intellectual, cultural, and political movement known as the Enlightenment, contemporary principles that placed more emphasis on tolerance, freedom, and reason took centre stage while downplaying and rejecting the place of religion. Because of their outstanding contributions in this area, John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham are recognised as having laid the groundwork for contemporary ideals, especially those that are ingrained in the social work profession.


b) What are the focus areas of welfare services by non-governmental organizations and Faith-Based Organizations in Ethiopia?

Ans) NGOs and other non-profit organisations actively engaged in the delivery of welfare services, with a primary emphasis on the welfare of families, the empowerment of women, the welfare of children, and the employment of young people. Their reasoning is based on the assumption that ensuring the prosperity of all of the community members can be equated to guaranteeing the success of these specific groups within society. The following issues, which are related with the institution of the family, should be appropriately addressed if we are going to focus on the family as the major basis for doing so.


There are serious issues that have surfaced as a result of the connections within the family that require quick care. Because of them, families are unable to meet the members' physiological, psychological, and social requirements any longer. In Ethiopia, there are numerous causes of dysfunctional families, some of which are interrelated and others of which are independent of one another. The issues that have a negative impact on families are deserving of the attention that social work can provide. Child abuse, teen pregnancy, alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, death, divorce, or separation within the family, homelessness, poverty, and the dispersed family are some of the issues that are associated with these concerns.


The proportion of needy families has increased as a result of the country's rapid population growth. When it comes to providing social welfare services for impoverished families, the government has a relatively small role to play. These can be elderly members of the community, bereaved folks, or kids who want financial assistance to attend school or purchase food. The number of needy families has also increased as a result of frequent natural disasters. These could be a cyclone, a drought, or another type of natural catastrophe. These encounters are startling. People in such situations require support in order to achieve their fundamental necessities, such as housing, clothing, food, and medicine.


Q4) Attempt any four of the following in about 150 words each: 5x4


a) What are the impacts of neoliberal policies on social work practice in Africa?

Ans) In Africa, social workers are forced to choose between a wide range of opposing economic, political, and social philosophies. Programs to reduce poverty are being attempted in many African nations, but they can only go so far when local policies are competing with those of international financial institutions (IFIs). The systemic nature of the social issues plaguing Africa means that social casework is unable to address these issues.


When faced with such circumstances, social workers act as the "cooling agents" in an effort to assist people in coping with their ongoing problems. Social workers have a responsibility to alert their employers, decision-makers, politicians, and the general public to situations where resources are insufficient or where the distribution of resources, policies, or practises is oppressive, unfair, or harmful, according to the IFSW and IASSW code of ethics. They owe it to society to question societal norms that support social exclusion, stigmatisation, or subjection and fight toward a society that is inclusive.


b) Discuss goals and functions of social group work in the African context.

Ans) The goals and functions of social group work in the African context are as follows:

  1. Teach people how to coexist, collaborate, and take part in group activities for their mental, emotional, and physical development.

  2. Assist people in leading fulfilling lives in their families and groups. Additionally, the person learns how to collaborate with others and take part in a variety of activities.

  3. Utilizing various group work techniques, participants' individual personalities and behaviours are developed.

  4. Give those who possess leadership potential, worth, and dignity the chance to succeed.

  5. Make the most of your free time.

  6. To play a unique role in a group, learn about role specialisation and division of labour.

  7. Give the person a job that suits her/his skills, knowledge, and interests.

  8. Expand your horizons.

  9. Get individuals ready for societal transformation.

  10. When you need a change in your physical, mental, or emotional state, try group therapy.


c) What are five types of school education system in Ethiopia?

Ans) The five types of school education system in Ethiopia are as follows:

  1. Government schools are those that are run by the regional education bureaus, Ministries of Education, Public Health Institutions, Agriculture, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Military and Security Schools, Universities, and Colleges.

  2. Non-Government schools are schools that are owned by the public but are not run by the government.

  3. Mission schools are schools that are run by religious groups, with or without government help. Religious Missions schools teach religious ideas and values.

  4. Foreign Communities Schools are those that follow an international curriculum, usually a western one, and serve the children and families of diplomats and other foreigners living in Ethiopia. In Ethiopia, foreign Community Schools are run by different foreign communities mainly for the children of those communities.

  5. Organization schools are schools run by different groups, usually for the children of the people who work there. But if there is room, other children may also join.


d) Enlist core qualities of a community worker with reference to prevailing problems in Africa.

Ans) The core qualities of a community worker with reference to prevailing problems in Africa are as follows:

  1. Recognize, understand, and strike a balance between their responsibilities to the community.

  2. Follow best practises when it comes to the values and principles that community work is based on.

  3. Encourage their organisation to use good financial practises.

  4. Keep your honesty and integrity at the highest level.

  5. Know where your personal life ends and your work life begins.

  6. Make sure that their business relationships with other people are only based on how they can help the communities where they work.

  7. Make sure they don't let their personal differences with other people affect the work they do with or for the community.

  8. Develop and keep up the skills and knowledge they need to do their jobs.

  9. Be aware of yourself and think about your practise and approach often.

  10. Think about how to make a work plan that fits the needs, methods, and values of the community.

  11. Keep in touch with other organisations that do community work.

  12. Encourage employers to make it possible for team-based reflective practise to happen.

Q5) Write short notes on any five of the following in about 100 words each: 4x5


a) Asset Based Community Development

Ans) Community development benefits greatly from community labour and service. It is a newly emerging essential duty of colleges and universities in Ethiopia. Alongside the large expansions of new ones, the need-based community service and capacity building of the current higher education institutions receive the proper priority. To address the demand for reforming universities and connecting them with communities while enhancing practical research activities, universities are undertaking comprehensive reform. It is evident that there is growing demand on higher education institutions today due to the urgent need to put knowledge into practise in order to address the social, economic, and environmental issues that are now present.


b) Intended Functions of Education

Ans) Although there is a lot of overlap between the two, educational functions can be divided into two categories: those that are planned or apparent and those that are unintended or latent. When we ask ourselves what schools do, the intended functions refer to those facets of education that first come to mind. The formal or official curriculum used in schools transmits both specialised and general knowledge. They provide knowledge, uphold morals, and hone cognitive ability. Schools also disseminate new knowledge created in colleges and industry as well as the current culture to the younger generation and newcomers to the community; cultural transmission involves cultural diffusion.


c) Community Policing

Ans) A policing ideology known as community policing encourages community-based approaches to managing problems in order to combat the root causes of crime, disorder, and public fear of crime. The declared goal of community policing is to improve the standard of living in the surrounding areas. One of the most well-liked methods of police work today is community policing, which came about in reaction to data showing that the police could not combat crime on their own and to deteriorating relations with minority ethnic populations. Community policing can take many different forms, such as team policing, foot patrol, problem-oriented policing, neighbourhood policing, service-based policing, and policing by consent, yet there is no broad agreement on what it truly includes.


d) Human Trafficking in Ethiopia

Ans) Although Ethiopia is a place of origin for women who have been trafficked and there have been allegations of internal trafficking, both the law and the constitution forbid the practise. Contrary to past years, there were no reports of rural families selling their daughters to owners of hotels and bars along the major truck routes, however it is thought that this practise does occur. The government no longer serves as a placement service for workers leaving the country. A network of individuals engaged in the tourism and import-export industries are allegedly significantly involved in contacting potential customers, hiring young girls, planning trips, and creating fake birth certificates, work licences, and travel documents.


e) Non-State Actors

Ans) Non-governmental organisations are sometimes referred to as the voluntary sector, civil society, non-profit, non-governmental, nonstate actors, charities, or private voluntary groups. A wide range of organisations, including cooperatives, trade unions, and neighbourhood-based groups like iddirs, are included under the umbrella phrase non-state actors. The Charities and Societies Agency-registered CSOs and NGOs that follow its rules and regulations are covered in this unit on the voluntary sector. Local or national NGOs, international NGOs, professional associations, civic and advocacy groups, and religious organisations make up the Agency's five main categories for the Non-Governmental Organizations that operate under its auspices. Depending on their activity, faith-based organisations may be included in the classification because it is their work, not their religious connection, which counts.

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