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UJ and global partners reflect on the role of higher education in promoting peace and harmony

On Wednesday, 20-22 June, 2018, the Ali Mazrui Centre of Higher Education Studies (AMC) at the University of Johannesburg, Kingsway Campus, will hold a Symposium of World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES) on the theme “Comparative Education for Global Citizenship, Peace and Harmony through Ubuntu”, jointly with an international conference of the Indian Ocean Comparative Education Society (IOCES) on “Rethinking Epistemologies and Innovating Pedagogies to Foster Global Peace”.

Why these themes? Never before in the history of human civilization have people had better opportunities of looking beyond their own villages, towns, cities, districts/provinces/states and countries to identify with a view to satisfying their existence as quintessential citizens of our planet Earth. Paradoxically, while intermingling of cultures, economies and civilizations has brought about unprecedented synergies, challenges have also emerged and persisted simultaneously, including the sense of exclusion and disconnect.

The above events therefore have the agenda of harnessing comparative education for more meaningful well-being and improved quality of life across the globe through the paradigm of Ubuntu, which stands for a shared present and hopeful common future. Peace and harmony can only be achieved if there is recognition of our diversity and epistemic justice in our education endeavours, locally and globally. This is well supported by the philosophy of Ubuntu which emphasizes the affirmation of one’s humanity through recognition of the ‘other’ in his or her uniqueness and difference, or more precisely: “a person is a person through other people.

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