Editorial: Persevering and Remaining Agile in Managing the Ongoing Impacts of COVID-19
N’Dri T. Assié-Lumumba Cornell University 18 December 2021
It is with a sense of special gratitude that we welcome the long-awaited volume 5 (Nos. 1-2) of Global Comparative Education: Journal of the WCCES, our peer-reviewed academic periodical produced in this unusual year 2021. Initially, the journal was scheduled to appear twice annually, in March and September every year. However, the unique challenges related to COVID-19 provoked the long delay of the process. Hence, numbers 1 and 2 have been combined under volume 5. It is also worth recalling that according to our original 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. As an indication of this multi-language commitment the abstract of each article published in any of these six languages is translated in the other five languages. Of critical importance is the need to uphold the practice of including in each issue at least one article in one of these languages besides English. As it has been regularly reported in the minutes of our Bureau and Executive Committee meetings, we are striving to avoid falling by de facto into an English only publication. Pressing requests to help promote and sustain this commitment have been made regularly to our WCCES community which is endowed with its wealth of scholarly qualifications with language mastery across the globe. It has often occurred that if several articles that are ready for an issue are all in English, we have to wait for articles submitted in other languages to undergo the usual rigorous process of peer review and meet all the requirements before the issue can be released.
I am hereby reiterating my request of the support of our community in submitting articles in these six languages. I also request the indulgence of those whose papers, usually in English, must wait until we have the multi-language requirement met. This request for patience and understanding is addressed to the authors of regular articles in English, authors of the profiles as well as our distinguished colleagues who constitute the foci of the profiles.
The rationale for a WCCES multi-lingual publication in this journal and also in the World Voices Nexus: The WCCES Chronicle is a reflection of my enduring commitment for inclusiveness and providing 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 on broader themes and specific case studies from different parts of the world, four profiles, and two book reviews:
1) Seven articles: “Universalité des Mille et une nuits où l’éducation vainc la barbarie” by Aïcha Maherzi , “Promoting Global Education through Team Leadership and International Dialogue” by Nagwa Megahed, “Framing Nationalism Amidst Conflict Migration: Multiple Identity Discourses Among Jordanian Boys in Amman’s Public Schools” by Patricia K. Kubow, “Éducation inclusive et métier d’enseignant: quelles mutations professionnelles ? Regards croisés entre le Brésil et la France” by Keyla Santana and Régis Malet, “The Role of Internal Reserves in Students’ Knowledge Quality Improvement in Kazakhstan” by Askarbek Kussainov, “Building a sustainable culture of student writers: One school’s journey in Cairo, Egypt” by Cathy Miyata, and “Adult learners’ self-direction in group learning” John K. Boateng, Esther J. K. Attiogbe & Victoria Mwinsumah Kunbuor;
2) Four profiles of comparative education scholars: “Profile of a Comparative and International Education Leader: Gu Mingyuan” by Teng Jun and Ding Ruichang, “Profile of a Comparative and International Education Leader: Ruth Hayhoe” by W. James Jacob, “Profile of a Comparative and International Education Leader: Ka Ho Mok” Weiyan Xiong, “Profile of a Comparative and International Education Leader: Shen-Keng Yang” by Ya-Wen Hou;
3) Two book reviews: Academic Activism in Higher Education: A Living Philosophy for Social Justice by Nuraan Davids and Yusef Waghid, Singapore: Springer, 2021, ISBN: 978-981-16038-9-6, reviewed by Marianna Papastephanou and Shadow education in Africa: private supplementary tutoring and its policy implications, by Mark Bray, Hong Kong, Comparative Education Research Centre, The University of Hong Kong (in collaboration with Centre for International Research in Supplementary Tutoring [CIRIST], East China Normal University), 2021, 91 pages.
I wish to renew my profound appreciation to all the contributors in this issue, with special gratitude to those whose articles were accepted earlier but publication had to be delayed until this issue. We also thank 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 to the GCE or a shorter version of 3000 words to the Chronicle. I am most grateful to the entire editorial team, especially Eve Coxon, Co-Editor & Book Review Editor with additional copyediting of articles in English; Eve has been a true pillar for the journal; W. James Jacob who has served as Associate Editor in charge of the Profiles and Copyediting of the submissions in English; and Aïcha Maherzi, Associate Editor responsible for Copyediting 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 the Editorial Management team: Alex Mhone and Francisco Mitumba and the Language-Specific Management Team comprising of Ahmed Grecham (Arabic), Rulin Xu (Chinese), Rassidy Oyeniran (French), Larissa Forster (Russian), and Mercedes Victoria Andres (Spanish) for translating the abstracts. I want to acknowledge their hard work and true dedication and for enabling us to fulfill 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 the editor of World Voices Nexus: the WCCES Chroniclefor his valuable contributions on numerous fronts.
It has been more than a year since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. And it continues to disorient individuals and communities and ravage human life in many parts of the world. At WCCES, this year we lost several colleagues to this terrible pandemic: Professor Michael Cross, the Founding-Director of Ali Mazrui Center for Higher Education Studies (AMCHES) at the University of Johannesburg (South Africa). He was a regular participant and presenter in CIES as well as WCCES events. The First WCCES Symposium and its first ever retreat and Symposium were hosted by his Center in June 2018. Michael is the co-author of a book entitled Comparative Education for Global Citizenship, Peace and Shared Living through uBuntu along with Kanishka Bedi, Sakunthala Ekanayake, and myself, based on peer-reviewed papers presented during this symposium and other chapters contributed by colleagues later. The book is ready to be published under WCCES Brill I Sense Book Series, which we are dedicating to the memory of Professor Cross, the exemplary human being and an accomplished scholar. Professor Cross was the Chair of the WCCES Peace Education Task Force.
Last year, the pandemic claimed the life of Professor Dennis Banda, the President of the Southern African Comparative and History of Education Society (SACHES), a constituent society of the WCCES. This tremendous loss was intensified by the gloomy news of friends, colleagues, and relatives succumbing to the virus all over the world. There are several members of constituent societies who lost their lives to this disease as well. Others were fortunate to survive the disease after contracting it with variable severity and immediate and long-term effects. Therefore, more than ever, especially with new variants, we must remain vigilant and follow the Covid Appropriate Behavior (CAB) wherever we are, while getting ourselves vaccinated as soon as possible noting that given the context of the prevailing global system, where access to the vaccine is still unequal.
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, graduate students, various networks, and 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, sustain, and enhance the status of a top, and relevant journal striving to be accredited while remaining online with free access. Let us remain agile and forward-looking in navigating the prevailing context.
Happy reading! Best Wishes for Joyous Holidays and a Healthy, Productive, and Fulfilling New Year 2022!