International Consultancy for technical assistance to improve the quality of vocational and professional education in Abkhazia

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UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund

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Application deadline 1 year ago: Friday 20 Aug 2021 at 14:00 UTC

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Purpose of Activity/Assignment:

In Abkhazia the education system has suffered from degradation over the last 25 years as a result of the protracted conflict and isolation of the region. The education system is heavily underfunded due to the lack of financial resources, resulting in a persistent lack of teaching materials, teacher training, and dilapidated school infrastructure. Also, over the last 25 years there have been no systematic attempt to reform the education system. Consequently, the quality of education is low and international assistance to improve education services is urgently needed. At the same time, information on school attendance, drop-out rates and student learning outcomes are not publicly available, making evidence-based programming difficult.

The unresolved and protracted conflict further complicates the situation. The existing education system in Abkhazia only partially reflects the existing linguistic division of Abkhazia's population; education in Abkhazia in various ways perpetuates mistrust and resentment between the region's various ethnic communities and does not contribute to peacebuilding. The resentment is felt particularly strongly in the sphere of mother tongue education and has the potential to cause new tensions between the divided communities. Children of different ethno-linguistic communities in Abkhazia today have very different chances to study in their mother tongue and children of each ethnic community face specific challenges.

There is a major disparity in Abkhazia between the societal needs and educational outcomes: the education system and the social composition and strong perceptions of parents in Abkhazia favor the pursuit of the higher education for school graduates. Vocational and professional education remains heavily under-developed and unpopular; hence it requires systematic and targeted support. UNICEF aims at working with schoolteachers and parents to introduce them to modern approaches to professional and vocational education, raise their awareness and understanding of the importance of vocational and professional education as an alternative carrier path.

UNICEF will support the development of STEM programmes in 13 schools as part of vocational education and training, including development of a STEM curriculum, related materials and trainings for teachers for the introduction of STEM classes into 13 schools in Abkhazia.

UNICEF is therefore planning to recruit an international consultant to provide technical assistance to its Sukhumi Field Office in Abkhazia in the above-mentioned areas.

Scope of Work:

UNICEF seeks to engage an international expert to provide technical assistance to UNICEF FO in implementation of the developed STEM programme for 13 pilot schools. UNICEF FO has identified 3 schools where STEM labs will be renovated and 10 schools will be provided with minor STEM equipment. In order to support the schools with implementation of the STEM programme UNICEF plans to hire an international consultant who will conduct series of trainings and provide supervision for teachers during the pilot of the programme.

The consultancy activities will be carried out between 23 August 2021 and 17 January 2022, with possible extension as needed, and will be implemented from home. During the work from home, the consultant will use email, Skype and telephone for regular communication with UNICEF Sukhumi Field Office and supervisor.

Depending on further progress in UNICEF's consultations with relevant decision, as well as with interested donors, the consultancy might be extended and amended to include additional tasks and deliverables in line with those established in this TOR.

Duration: 23.08.2021 - 17.01.2022. Number of working days 57.

Work Assignment Overview




Support to the teachers from the Teachers Recourse Centers

Quality online course programme for teachers on student centered instructions

August 2021 - January 2022

STEM trainings for 13 schools

Quality trainings on STEM methodologies delivered via Zoom to teachers from 13 pilot school

September 2021 -January 2022

Supervision of the teachers from 13 selected schools piloting STEM programme

Join remotely and have reflection sessions with teachers delivering the course in schools. Provide practical advice, additional support information and delivery of the profile report for teachers upon completion of the pilot phase of the programme

September 2021 -January 2022

Recording of 3 short videos on STEM to be posted on local professional development portal for teachers.

Good quality videos (5-7 minutes) for teachers on issues related to the importance of STEM and VET

September -December 2021

Location: Home Based. Most of the tasks under the consultancy will be implemented remotely. Trips to Abkhazia might be considered depending on the situation with COVID-19 and entry procedures. In case of travel, details will be coordinated with the consultants and amendments to the TOR and contract will be made accordingly.

Knowledge/Expertise/Skills required:

  • Advanced university degree in Education or any relevant field;
  • At least 8 years of work experience in areas of education, STEM programme development and introduction, vocational and professional education, including work experience in the context with transitional education (experience working in the countries of the former Soviet Union is an asset);
  • Proven experience in teachers training on student-centered teaching methodologies, STEM, as well as in training teacher trainers (ToTs);
  • Excellent English language skills and ability to lead trainings in Russian language;
  • Very good analytical and organizational skills;
  • Familiarity with UNICEF's work in the area of education;
  • Excellent communication and teamwork skills; ability to work with minimum supervision in a multi-national environment with team members from different cultural backgrounds;

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

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