Social work education in Nepal:
In conversation with Bala Raju Nikku
In the last decade, social work education relevant to Nepal and its societal values and international social work has emerged and is growing. There are many challenges and opportunities in its development. Bala Raju Nikku shares insights into the development of Nepalese social work.
Bala Raju Nikku was born in Budithi Village in Srikakulam, a north coastal District in the state of Andhra Pradesh in 1970. He felt fortunate that his parents could afford a higher education. In 1994, he completed a Master of Arts in Social work from Acharya Nagarjuna University and secured University 5thRank. In 1999, he studied for a Post Graduate Diploma in Regional Planning from Gujarat in India. With a generous fellowship from the Ford Foundation and the Wageningen University in the Netherlands, he graduated with a doctorate degree in 2006, his first exposure to western cultures and values. Bala Raju Nikku met his Nepalese wife there, also a student at the time. They went to live in Nepal in 2004 where they founded the Kadambari Memorial College, Department of Social Work in 2005 and then the Nepal College of Development Studies in 2007 which led to the initiation of the Nepal School of Social Work.
Bala Raju Nikku worked as a visiting lecturer in the faculty of Social Administration, Thammasat University, Thailand, in 2009 and is currently with the School of Social Sciences, University Sains Malaysia. He served as the member of the Social Work Curriculum Subject Committee of the Purbanchal University and contributed to the social work, Child Rights and Juvenile Justice Curriculum development efforts of the other universities in Nepal. With the support of the ICSD Asia Pacific the third biennial conference was organised under the aegis of ICSD Asia Pacific in Nepal. He worked with the International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW) as the South Asia regional vice president for two years (2010-11) through which they aimed to strengthen civil society initiatives in Nepal. Similarly through links with IFSW Asia Pacific, Bala Raju Nikku and colleagues are determined to form the Nepal National Association of Social Workers, as yet to be realized.
Currently, Bala Raju Nikku serves on the boards of APASWE as a co-opted member where he chairs the small grants programme and was recently elected as the Member at Large of the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW). His passion to strengthen the social work profession through social work education inspired him to stand for and work with IASSW and APASWE. He brings social work education and professional issues from Nepal and the south Asia to these forums and seeks international support to address these issues.
Nurturing leadership in Social Work education and training is the need of the hour in many countries in the Asian continent, as it encompasses not just management but also the vision, goals and strategies, leading to a mental picture of preferred future of an educational institution and its contribution in the nation building. For Bala Raju Nikku and colleagues at the Nepal School of Social Work, teaching social work is an art and science and also a passion.
Recommended citation – APA6th
Fronek, P. (Host). (2012, October 25). Social work education in Nepal: In conversation with Bala Raju Nikku [Episode 29]. Podsocs. Podcast retrieved Month Day, Year, from http://www.podsocs.com/podcast/social-work-education-in-nepal/.