The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on social work education and practice

  • Wilson Zvomuya


The essence of global trends in shaping the world education and related activities has not been clear-cut before the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Disruptions in learning at tertiary institutions, failure of students to afford the online system of learning, lack of technological skills, disturbances in conducting internal assessments, fieldwork supervision and mentorship as well as lack of resources, to keep in pace with global developments, characterised the day in such developing countries as Zimbabwe. Social work education, research, fieldwork and practice was modified through the adoption of virtual platforms for learning, provision of counselling sessions, follow-ups and linkages. For continuity in the face of COVID-19, tertiary institutions are now using virtual platforms that include Zoom, Microsoft teams, Twitter, Facebook, Office 365, Skype for business, WhatsApp calls and group chats for educational purposes. Increased use of virtual platforms is evident among students on practicum and doing dissertations who are working from home. The author of this paper acknowledges that the COVID-19 pandemic is a turning point in social work education and practice which everyone has to adopt without compromising the Afrocentric values, principles and guidelines salient to addressing the needs of the local people. This paper entails the historical development of social work education in Zimbabwe, use of virtual platforms in tertiary learning, fieldwork practice, tele-working and policy implications to social work practice due to COVID-19 pandemic.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2409-5605
print ISSN: 1563-3934