One major problem of our society is more of morality, integrity and sincerity, which fall within the religious studies specialty, other than production of the tangible which lies within the domain of science. The two fields must therefore operate in tandem to train the required manpower to advance the national development agenda. At KNUST, there is the recognition of the delicate nexus between science and technology, on one hand, and the Art and Humanities, on the other. It is in this view that the Department of Religious Studies organised its first very well patronised International Conference on Science and Religion in 2008.
Sociology, which is the scientific study of human societies focuses on understanding societies, their cultures and institutions to be able to explain social phenomena and human behaviour. It makes people aware of their social environment.
This is of relevance to science and technology as well as educational and research institutions that have such inclination. Science and technological innovations and inventions are meant to solve the problems of humanity and make the life of people better. As such, an understanding of people, their cultures and societies is relevant in appreciating the problems and other areas that require scientific and technological developments.
Again sociological knowledge is important for scientists to understand how and why people behave the way they do as well as understanding the behavioural patterns of others, which is fruitful for human interaction. This is because of the fact that humans are social beings.
Social work’s integrative teaching approach focuses on training that gives students the skill to re-design social technology to provide holistic social services and solutions to existing social menace that face families, small groups, communities and the nation.
At KNUST, sociology and social work training strive to maintain a clear connection and balance with the community. This training expands students’ knowledge base with sharpened ethical orientation and strong critical thinking and problem solving skills to provide solution focused outcomes in the field of service. It is against this background that sociology and social work knowledge is offered to various departments in the university including Optometry, Theoretical and Applied Biology, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Publishing Studies, School of Business, Law, Engineering as well as the Medical School.
KNUST Social Work education addresses the barriers, inequities and injustices that exist in our society. Students who graduate from this programme readily respond to crises and emergencies as well as to everyday personal and social problems by utilising a variety of skills, techniques and activities consistent with its holistic focus on persons and their environment.
Social work interventions range from primarily person-focused psychosocial processes to involvement in social policy, planning and development. They include individual, family and group counselling, community and medical social work, crisis intervention, substance addiction treatment, child welfare, mental health care and generic social work practice. Interventions also include agency administration, community organisation and engaging in social and political action to impact social policy. Sociology plays a key role in technology transfer and project implementation in communities.
All these foci of sociology and social work are relevant in making the Ghanaian society, Africa and the world as a whole a better place since it gives students better appreciation of themselves, others and their environment to make meaningful contributions for societal advancement.