International Consultancy to support the introduction of Life Skills into the education system of Abkhazia
Application deadline 1 year ago: Friday 13 Aug 2021 at 14:00 UTCOpen application form
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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.
The local education system has very little linkage with competencies relevant for successful development and growth beyond school years. This became noticeable during the outbreak of COVID-19 related pandemic and overall education disruption, where both schoolteachers and students lacked basic skills and competencies that could support them in this transitional period. Development and successful piloting on Life Skills course in selected schools could become a very powerful foundation for further advocacy on the relevance of introduction of Life Skills and competencies-based education into schooling in Abkhazia. The course will focus on cultivating personal life skills among students, such as critical thinking, self-reflection, problem solving and interpersonal skills, as well as focus on strengthening of financial and computer literacy, project planning, healthy lifestyle, etc. Additional work has to be carried out with parents to support their understanding of the importance of Life skills education for holistic development of their children.
Scope of Work:
UNICEF seeks to engage an international expert or a group of international consultants to undertake the development of the course on Life Skill and conduct a teachers' training programme on Life Skill for 13 selected schools in Abkhazia. The work will be done in close cooperation with UNICEF Sukhum FO. The consultancy activities will be carried out between September 2021 and March 2022, with the possible extensions 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: 01.09.2021 to 01.03.2022. 95 working days.
Work Assignment Overview
Review and adjustment of all the previously developed Life Skills materials (guidebooks, manuals, etc).
Good quality consolidated report that ensure coherence and accuracy between all of the old guidebooks and ongoing programme
Development of the school programme on Life Skills (Skills of the 21 century) and further piloting and introduction of this course in 13 selected schools in Abkhazia
A comprehensive good quality programme on Life Skills in schools that will be based on solid theoretical knowledge and have a well-developed practical application. The course structure should consist of various modules that cover a wide variety of topics related to students' competences and have a real-life application.
Development and conducting of a teacher training programme based on the school course.
A good quality training programme for teachers based on the structure of the school course on Life Skills. The training programme should also include any necessary manuals, materials or short guidebooks to support teachers. A total of four (4) 3-day trainings should be conducted for teachers from 13 selected schools.
Development and conducting of information sessions for parents and relevant stakeholders on the importance of life skills education.
A good quality presentation and programme developed for parents from 13 selected schools (four (4) 1 days sessions and one (1) day session for stakeholders).
Supervision of the teachers piloting the developed course in 13 selected schools.
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.
Recording of 3 short videos on Life Skills subjects to be posted on local professional development portal for teachers.
Good quality videos (4-5 minutes) for teachers on issues related to the importance of Life Skills education
Location: 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.
- Advanced university degree in Education or any relevant social field;
- At least 8 years of work experience in areas of education, life skills, pedagogy, 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 teacher training on student-centered teaching methodologies, Life Skills, as well teacher training and parental work;
- Knowledge and experience in adaptation and integration of UNICEF Basic Life Skills or Adolescent Kit programme.
- 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;
- Good knowledge and use of Microsoft package and relevant software for remote work.
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.
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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.