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The IBE-UNESCO supports WCCES’s initiatives to bolster GCED and peace through Ubuntu



Last week, the IBE-UNESCO celebrated its historic collaboration with the WCCES (World Council of Comparative Education Societies) by participating in the WCCES Executive Committee Meeting and 1st WCCES Symposium (21-22 June) at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa.
The IBE-UNESCO’s Dr. Simona Popa took part in the WCCES Executive Committee Meeting and Retreat, where she took the position of Assistant Secretary-General effective from the meeting. These events led up to the WCCES Symposium titled “Comparative Education for Global Citizenship, Peace and Harmony through Ubuntu”. The Symposium featured presentations, dialogue, and cultural events for educators, students, and researchers from around the world.
IBE-UNESCO Director Dr. Mmantsetsa Marope chaired a session on “The Ubuntu Paradigm & Transformative Pedagogy”, which featured speakers from Angola, Australia, Rwanda, and the USA. Dr. Marope introduced the panel and led a discussion on the global implications of Ubuntu and other GCED pedagogies. She also cited the importance of thinking critically and broadly about Ubuntu so that it may come to fruition as a truly global pedagogy: “How many pedagogical approaches are really global? How much have we imbued Ubuntu as an underpinning for how we translate a human being into a humane being?” she challenged the group.
Dr. Marope then met with WCCES President Dr. N'Dri T. Assié-Lumumba where they discussed ways to strengthen future collaboration, including co-hosting the next Symposium scheduled for Fall 2018. Also discussed was the possibility of relocating the WCCES Secretariat to the IBE as its headquarters.
The IBE-UNESCO’s participation in these events is the latest development in a long-standing relationship with WCCES. The partnership of the two organizations spans many decades and, in fact, began well before the WCCES was founded in 1970. Leo Fernig, then Director of the IBE, worked closely with WCCES founder Joseph Katz to organize the first World Congress of Comparative Education Societies in 1970. At the invitation of Fernig, the WCCES moved its Secretariat to the IBE in 1972. At the Symposium, the IBE organized a small exhibition of WCCES ephemera from its Historical Archives to showcase the shared history and close bond of the IBE and WCCES.
The IBE would like to thank WCCES, the Executive Committee, participants of the Symposium, and especially Dr. Assié-Lumumba for her hospitality and Ubuntu spirit.