12th Biennial Conference: Kathmandu

12th Biennial Comparative Education Society of Asia, CESA 2021, Kathmandu, 25 – 26 September 2021 (Online)

Valuing Diversity in Education: Formal and Informal Learning Across Cultures’

It is generally assumed that education contributes in diverse ways to the achievement of social progress, equipping individuals with skills that enhance their employability, health, family life, civic engagement and overall sense of fulfilment. On this basis, providing quality and inclusive education has been set as one of the United Nations’ sustainable development priorities (SDG4) to be achieved by 2030. However, international understandings not only of what quality and inclusivity entail, but of the social vision to whose achievement education should contribute, remain widely divergent. Meaningful cross-national debate over best practice with respect to pedagogy, educational governance, schooling for girls or minorities and a range of other matters assumes consensus over the fun

Learning can be seen as an informal, everyday phenomenon; as a formal, systematised process; or (lying somewhere along an informal-formal spectrum) as a more flexibly-planned and organised ‘non-formal’ activity. Studies of diverse contexts highlight the dynamics of everyday learning and its importance to various communities – something that is often overlooked in research focusing on the formal sector. This is perhaps especially true in societies, such as those of South Asia, where access to institutions of formal education remains highly problematic for many. It is also especially true in situations, such as that of the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020-2021, which require the widespread closure of formal educational institutions and their transfer ‘online’. Realising the potential for life-long learning everywhere depends on understanding how informal learning complements and shapes learning in more formal settings. Comparative perspectives are crucial to an analysis of how different forms of learning interact in different social and cultural contexts, and therefore to efforts to render education more relevant and accessible to various social groups. As a forum for exchanging comparative insights (especially, but not only, in relation to Asia), the 12th Biennial CESA Conference will contribute to bridging the gulf between studies of formal and informal learning. The conference theme is:

Valuing Diversity in Education: Formal and Informal Learning Across Cultures

While keynote and plenary sessions will directly address the overall conference theme, the sub-themes (around which parallel sessions will be organised) are framed quite broadly in order to accommodate a wide range of presentations.

  • Ethics, philosophy and the meaning of learning across cultures
  • Historical perspectives on learning across Asia
  • Curriculum development and ‘skills’
  • Assessment + accreditation of learning across the formal-informal divide
  • Planning, governance and finance of learning systems (formal and informal)
  • Inequalities in access to learning
  • Learning, technology and ‘new media’
  • Learning to belong – identity formation, political socialisation and values
  • Learning for diverse societies
  • Learning for sustainable development – the challenge of SDG 4.7
  • Learning and the market – shadow education, privatisation, etc.
  • ‘Lifelong learning’ and the workplace
  • Covid-19 and new challenges for education and learning – across Asia and beyond

In addition to keynotes, plenaries and parallel sessions, the conference will feature panel discussions and a pre-conference writing workshop (to be delivered online).

Due to the continuing disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it has been decided to conduct this conference online.

For further details, please contact:

CESA 2020 Conference Secretariat, GPO BOX NO 6250, Kathmandu, Nepal

Phone: +977-1– 5250524 Email:  CESA2020@kusoed.edu.np

Important Dates

Jan 1, 2021                                Call for submission open

April 30, 2021(Extended!) Deadline for proposal submission

May 30, 2021                          Acceptance notification

Aug 31, 2021                            Conference Registration

Sept 24, 2021                          CESA Board Meeting

Sept 25-26, 2021                  Conference sessions

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