Editorial: Forward-looking Reflections on the COVID-19, Global Race Relations, and Change in the Educational Process
N’Dri T. Assié-Lumumba Cornell University 29 December 2020
It is with a sense of special gratitude that we welcome the long-awaited volume 4 Nos.1-2 of Global Comparative Education: Journal of the WCCES, our peer-reviewed academic periodical in this unusual year 2020. Like it was recalled previously, while the journal was scheduled to appear twice annually, in March and September every year, it became necessary, with the unique challenges related to COVID-19, to combine numbers 1 and 2 under volume 4. It is also worth recalling that according to our initial plan and continued practice, we publish articles in any of the six official languages of the United Nations, namely: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish and every issue includes articles in at least two of these six languages usually with a majority in English. Furthermore, besides the representations in the articles in different languages, the abstract of each article published in any of these six languages is translated in the other five languages. Therefore, in every issue we have multi-language representation. The rationale for a WCCES multi-lingual publication in this journal, the World Voices Nexus: the WCCES Chronicle and the initially planned WCCES-Brill | Sense book series was a reflection of my commitment for inclusiveness and diverse possibilities for publishing to better cater to the needs of the broader comparative education community. In addition, it was also expected to tap into the vast expertise of WCCES in these languages.
In this issue of the Journal, you will read the following exciting articles: “L’art des rencontres et du dépassement des frontières, au service de la promotion de la culture, de l’éducation populaire et de l’éducation comparée: Cheminer avec Michel Debeauvais (1922-2012)” by Régis Malet, “Comparing Use of E-mail Communication and Face-to-Face Interactions as Medium for Adult Learners in Ghana” by John Kwame Boateng & Yaw Oheneba-Sakyi, “Pedagogies of Participation: A Methodological Framework for Comparative Studies” by Danilo R. Streck, “Preparation and Professional Development of Urban vs. Rural School Principals in China: A Comparative Study” by Zhixin Su, Huixian Xia, Jian Wang, Dan Mao & Airong Lu, and “Why do Students go to Private Colleges in India? Determinants of Students’ Choice of Engineering Institutions in India” by Jandhyala B G Tilak. You are also invited to read the five book reviews with the hope that you will also be interested to read some of the books reviewed.
I would like to renew my profound gratitude to all the contributors in this issue, with special appreciation to those whose articles were accepted earlier but publication had to be delayed until this issue. We also thank also those whose submissions were not accepted for publication in this issue and encourage them to revise their papers, following the recommendations of the reviewers and to resubmit them. I am most grateful to the entire editorial team, especially Eve Coxon, Co-Editor & Book Review Editor; W. James Jacob, Associate Editor in charge of the Profiles and Copyediting of the submissions in English; and Aïcha Maherzi, Associate Editor responsible for Copyediting of the submissions in French. I also want to thank the anonymous reviewers of the submissions in all the languages, including those who reviewed articles that are not published in this issue or are not accepted for publication.
My special gratitude goes to Greg William Misiaszek, the Associate Editor and Coordinator of the Language-Specific Management Team for translating the abstracts in the six official UN languages. I want to acknowledge Alex Mhone, Francisco Mitumba, and Jihye Green for their hard work and true dedication and for enabling us to fulfil our commitment to the six official UN languages through the translated abstracts.
I wish to acknowledge my colleagues of the WCCES Secretariat who provided important input into the process of publishing this issue, particularly Dr. Kanishka Bedi, Executive Director of WCCES and also editor of World Voices Nexus: the WCCES Chronicle for his valuable contributions on numerous fronts. I also want to welcome again and recognize Sanaz Javadi Farahzadi, Volunteer in the WCCES office, for her taking up several tasks related to this publication. Finally, I would like to mention that our optimistic anticipation when we started the year 2020 was shattered in the first trimester of the year with the threat of COVID-19 and its ensuing havoc disrupted families, personal lives, the functioning of social institutions and collective experiences as citizens of the planet. The education systems were disrupted as schools had to be shut down to mitigate the spread of the virus. The pandemic has exposed the fragility of nations and brought to light the vulnerability of vast segments of populations in many countries including some of the most economically powerful. Education systems and their respective populations have been directly impacted. This year has also brought attention, in the global consciousness, to the persistent and gruesome manifestations of the repugnant social virus of racism. Our field of comparative education calls for reflections on, and critical examination of, the life-changing experiences and new explorations and innovations to tackle the old and emerging issues. Thus, I appeal again to the entire comparative education community, the leadership and other members of the constituent societies, members of the different standing committees to submit and encourage members of these societies and various networks, the broader community of comparative education to participate and submit articles in order to have holistic, diverse, vibrant and sustainable scholarly publication outlets offered by WCCES, including this journal. Articles on the ongoing COVID-19, race relations and other factors of social differentiation and engaging the broader educational systems are highly encouraged.
It is a great honor for me to continue to serve as the Editor of the Global Comparative Education: Journal of the WCCES, in my second term as President of WCCES. I appreciate any feedback and suggestions as we continue to strive to achieve and sustain the status of a top and relevant journal. Happy reading and a Happy and Healthy New Year 2021!