‘Global citizenship education has an important role to play in ensuring that the world that emerges from the COVID-19 crisis is safe, fair and inclusive’ - Christiana Nikolitsa-Winter (2020)
The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented changes. The pandemic has affected all areas of life including the suspension of schooling and the migration to online and virtual platforms. At present, 1.7 Billion learners all over the world have been impacted by school closures, and remote learning has been a lifeline for learning (UNESCO, 2020).
The world sheds tear as COVID-19 takes the lives of loved ones. People of all races and ethnicities shared fears about being infected with COVID-19. Leaders of different nations in the world, from the wealthiest to the poorest, exhibited the same concern, whatever their race or ethnicity, as they try to reassure their citizens that “We shall overcome!”. The united stand to combat COVID-19 pandemic is indeed a form of global citizenship, albeit shown through the challenging circumstances.
COVID-19 pandemic has functioned as a force of equity that brings men and women of different status, experience, national origin, language, and culture to the same basic commonality of the desire to survive.
As the pandemic is still on-going and has created such a “New Normal” ways of life, there is one source of light in the gloom of economic lockdown and self-isolation that we witnessed that includes the positive action of communities and citizens, the expressions of support for critical workers, including medical professionals, and the spontaneous demonstration of social solidarity, particularly with the most vulnerable.
Such actions, whether intended to protect, support, comfort or overcome exclusion, show the difference that responsible, ethical citizenship can make. Even though these gestures will not immunize anyone against the virus, however they make individuals and communities stronger and more resilient.
Undeniably, the advent of COVID-19 makes Global Citizenship Education (GCED) more important and relevant. The global pandemic has indeed further raised the need for strong and resilience Global Citizenship. Crises such as COVID-19 often result in far-reaching social and economic changes. At the regional level, one of the responses that SEAMEO has initiated during the pandemic was to convene the First SEAMEO Ministerial Policy e-Forum (SMPeF) on COVID-19 Response last 18 June 2020. SMPeF shared the policies and responses of the Ministries of Education in Southeast Asia to the pandemic to ensure that no learners in the region are left behind. During the SMPeF, the Ministers have put forward the commitment through the Joint Statement, and one of the commitments is to be united in the fight of pandemic and appreciate the efforts of stakeholders in education sectors to innovate and evolve in the unprecedented time (SEAMEO Secretariat, 2020a). The Ministers of Education further recommended the SEAMEO Secretariat and the SEAMEO Centres and Network to sustain the achievements gained in the fight against COVID-19 disruption to improve learning outcomes (SEAMEO Secretariat, 2020b). This commitment has shown SEAMEO Member countries as responsible global citizens.
In response to this current challenging situation, SEAMEO Secretariat in collaboration with the University of Tsukuba and supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) Japan will convene the 9th SEAMEO-The University of Tsukuba Symposium which will be held virtually on 11 February 2021. Under the theme ‘Resilience for Global Citizenship’, the Symposium will provide a platform for experts, policy makers, educators, and other stakeholders to share best practices and discuss on how we as global citizens respond to the challenges in education posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This symposium aims to (1) Provide a platform to showcase the Best Practices of education responses to the pandemic and school closures in the region; (2) Identify opportunities and challenges faced by schools in SEA during the pandemic period; (3) Consolidate the policy changes and ways forward for “New Normal” in education; and (4) Identify ways to address the needs of disadvantaged students learning through remote education.
Under the sub-theme ‘Challenges in Education under COVID-19,’ this symposium intends to cover issues surrounding but not limited to:
1. GCED concept development: Before and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Best Practices of alternative teaching methods/modules in educational institutions, both Basic Education and Higher Education during and after COVID-19 pandemic.
3. The scalability of national response and existing solutions at the regional level that may help contribute to the post-COVID-19 plans of actions and agenda.
4. The policies, tools, and strategies that could be suggested to policymakers to improve youth situation in the New Normal way of life.
5. The contribution of education stakeholders in shaping the future of cultural learning and practices in Southeast Asia and beyond post COVID-19.
We cordially invite education experts, policy makers, educators, researchers, and other stakeholders to submit their abstract and full paper for the symposium. Selected full paper presentations will be published in SEAMEO Journal 2021 (June issue).
This symposium will be done in three parts. The first part will feature the Keynote speeches who shall provide an overview on concept development of Global Citizenship and significant role of Global Citizenship during the pandemic. The next part will feature a roundtable discussion in response to the Symposium’s theme to provide a big picture how resilient we are as GC in respond to the current situation. After roundtable discussion there will be 5 panel presentations best practices on how we as resilient GCs work together to respond to COVID-19 pandemic. Each presenter shall share their experiences or best practices in overcome the challenges during the pandemic to ensure learning continuity.
All speakers shall submit an abstract of their presentation and the PPT or other media to the organising committee on or before 31 January 2021. Please refer to the Application Form.
Each keynote speakers will have 15 minutes to deliver their presentations, while other speakers at roundtable discussion and panel presentation will be allocated 7 to 8 minutes per presenter.
Contact Persons: Management Organisation, Host, and Session Organisers
A. SEAMEO Secretariat
Deputy Director for Programme and Development SEAMEO Secretariat
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms Anti Rismayanti
Programme Officer III (Information and Development) SEAMEO Secretariat
Prof Dr Masami Isoda
Director Centre for Research on International Cooperation in Educational Development (CRICED)
The University of Tsukuba
Contact Person: Ms Yukari Kobayashi, email: email@example.com
The Symposium will be conducted based on a cost-sharing basis among the SEAMEO Secretariat, the University of Tsukuba and SEAMEO Centres as follows:
• SEAMEO Secretariat contributes provides support for the organisation of the Symposium and provides the online platform and post-symposium activities such journal publication.
• SEAMEO Centres provides expertise as speakers and disseminate the output of the information of the Symposium to their network.
• The University of Tsukuba will provide the financial support for the symposium and journal publication.
The e-certificate will be provided and generated by the SEAMEO Secretariat as follows:
• “Certificate of Appreciation” will be provided to the speakers and panelists.
• “Certificate of Participation” will be provided to all participants who attend the Symposium and complete the Certificate Validation and Assessment Form.
1. Invitation letter to SEAMEO Centres/Network and Partners to participate and to submit the abstract.
11 January 2021
2. Deadline for SEAMEO Centres and Partners to submit the abstract
31 January 2021
3. Compilation of abstract
1-5 February 2021
4. Announcement of the symposium in the Website
10 January 2021
5. Announcement for participants to register for the symposium
1 February 2021
6. Dry run for speakers and panelists
9 &10 February 2021
11-12 February 2021
9. Deadline of full paper submission for publication in SEAMEO Journal 2021 (June)
31 March 2021
UNESCO. (2020, June). Education: From disruption to recovery. Retrieved August 15, 2020,
Nikolitsa-Winter, C. (2020). COVID-19: From global crisis to global citizenship. Retrieved 28 December 2020 from
SEAMEO Secretariat. (2020, June 18). SEAMEO Ministerial Policy e-Forum on COVID-19 Response [Video].