The 5th International Conference on Global Citizenship Education: Currently, the world is facing a global crisis which started with the coronavirus disease, also known as COVID-19, rapidly spreading globally and taking away our lives and livelihood. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only threatened our ways of life, but it has also unearthed and magnified injustices in our societies around the world that have been ignored or unsuccessful in bringing about change.
Such injustices are also seen as “pandemic” in terms that they are threatening and detrimental to human security and lives, while they are so widespread around the world and often inter-connected that they call for solidarity and cooperation across borders more than ever before. While confronting the COVID19 pandemic, we also struggle to resolve multiple pandemics such as economic polarization, racism (and various forms of discrimination), militarization and violence, hate speech and fake news, and ecological degradation to name a few.
In times of pandemic, the discourses on a “new normal” also emerge as if the future were to be inscribed in the current conditions, often dubbed and hyped by, technology-driven, automatized, individualistic vision of the ‘futurists’. The post-coronavirus ‘New Normal’ has emerged as popular imaginary as if people were sharing remedies to survive under the newly constructed communities and their rules.
The ‘New Normal’ in society’s stock market, world trade and job market are at the forefront with experts analysing and discussing new trends. The bottom line for such popular imagery, however, still evolves around the notion that the pre-COVID 19 ways of life and social orders might be “normal” to which we want to go back, while the world in these multiple crises we are currently facing actually tells us otherwise – that indeed, things in the pre-COVID 19 have gone quite wrong in many ways, with various forms of injustice and violence unaddressed.
Recently, UNESCO challenges such a popular notion of “normal” under its “Next Normal” campaign, “calling into question our priorities, our ways of life and the functioning of our societies” that have been disregarding the cost to our environment, economies and public health and societies. Claiming that “we have accepted the unacceptable for far too long” and “our previous reality can no longer be accepted as normal”, UNESCO proclaims: Now is the time for change.
In this light, the 5th IConGCED calls for interested educators and stakeholders to actively participate in the articulation of challenges and opportunities we face in the current pandemic, particularly in terms of roles and contribution of GCED, and the sharing of visions and practical ideas – and the building of solidarity – for post-COVID 19 ‘next normal’ as we strive to resolve the multiple pandemics we face.
If crisis brings us opportunities to transform the present into a better future, then our task is not only to critically evaluate the current situations but also to envision the future we want and strive to translate it into educational policies and practices. We must ask ourselves: What implications and lessons should we learn from the current crisis and multiple pandemics?
What particular issues above all should we focus on and give priorities at this moment, and what kinds of public and education discourses should we lead? How can we effectively translate those analyses and visions into policies and practices? What strategies should we take to translate our commitment into action? GCED – its aspiration, priorities, and strategies – should also be contextualized in this juncture where we are also going through unprecedented challenges in education in general.
Given the current difficulties education in general faces, how should Global Conference ED address such difficulties and how can it help improve the situations? How can we translate GCED into timely and well-contextualized educational contents and practices that are relevant and responsive to the immediacy of our daily lives as well as the current crisis, without losing sight of its holistic values and long-term perspectives? Eventually, how can GCED effectively contribute to the restoring and reviving solidarity and hope in this time of turbulent crises – and beyond?
To enrich the discussions of the 5th IConGCED, APCEIU will also organize a pre-conference webinar in September. Hence, this year’s IConGCED will be composed of one-day “Pre-Conference Webinar” in September and three-day main event, “5th IConGCED”, in November.
Find more Opportunities here!