United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

International Consultant (Technical Support to The Unicef Uzbekistan Country Office on Building National Capacity to Revise Classroom Assessment Systems in Line with The Competency-based Approach)

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Job Description

This assignment focuses on the first type of assessment: reviewing and revising classroom assessment systems in line with the competency-based approach, where MOPE requested UNICEF support. Support to development of methodology and tools for classroom assessment was included into the Multi-Year Work Plan (MYWP) between MOPE and UNICEF for 2019-2020 for the Quality Learning for All programme. UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. And we never give up. Background Government of Uzbekistan has been undertaking several path-breaking reforms in education sector in the past couple of years. In line with the Government of Uzbekistan’s Education Sector Plan 2019-2023 (ESP) Strategic Area 3: ‘Curriculum and assessment’, the Republican Education Centre (REC) under the Ministry of Public Education (MOPE) has been undertaking activities related to enhancing the curriculum of general secondary education.  The main thrust of curricular reforms is to adopt a competency-based learning approach, by moving beyond the content driven approach prevailing now. This included the development of a new National Curriculum Framework (NCF) based on a competency-based approach, and the development of grade and subject specific curriculum content, and clear competency-based outcomes for learners, based on the NCF, as well as associated reviews of the new curriculum for gender and social sensitivity, following recent endorsement of the NCF and detailed curriculum. In view of this, MOPE requested UNICEF support its efforts to reform the education curriculum in line with this competency-based approach, which was included into the Multi-Year Work Plan (MYWP) between MOPE and UNICEF for 2019-2020 for the ‘Quality Learning for All’ programme. In 2019-2020, UNICEF provided Technical Support to develop the first ever National Curriculum Framework (NCF) for the general secondary education system. The drafting of NCF involved: (i) desk review of all available documents; particularly the legal documents and existing curriculum and associated documents; (ii) large-scale consultations with the senior officials, methodological experts, teachers, parents as well as students; (iii) Capacity Building of experts involved in the process of curriculum revision; (iv) developing the key components of an NCF, namely, a vision, aims and objectives, values and principles, subject specific requirements, assessment and assessment related requirements and evaluation; and (v) validation of the draft document. Following the finalization of NCF, a roadmap for the whole process of revision and implementation of subject and grade specific curriculum for 5 core subject areas was also developed. The Working Groups formed under the leadership of REC prepared initial drafts of the subject-specific curriculum and syllabuses and shared these for public discussion. Throughout this process, the primary area identified as requiring most significant additional support was that of ‘Assessment’ (both summative, and formative), with shortcomings in existing assessment practices in Uzbekistan standing as a potential barrier to the effective implementation of the newly developed Competency-based Curriculum. The shift from a content-driven current curriculum to a more competency-based learning approach would require reforming the associated approach to examinations and assessments of learning outcomes. ESP 2019-2023 states that the country needs to prepare activities for three specific types of assessments: (a) reviewing and revising classroom assessment systems in line with the competency-based approach – including the use of summative and formative assessments and in a continuous and comprehensive framework; (b) prepare for enhancing or establishing a National Learning Assessment System (NAS) in the country and carrying out system level sample surveys on learning using internationally accepted testing techniques; and (c) prepare for participating in international learning assessments like Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) and Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). In doing each one of these, capacity building of staff in specialized areas is extremely important. This assignment focuses on the first type of assessment: reviewing and revising classroom assessment systems in line with the competency-based approach, where MOPE requested UNICEF support. Support to development of methodology and tools for classroom assessment was included into the Multi-Year Work Plan (MYWP) between MOPE and UNICEF for 2019-2020 for the Quality Learning for All programme. Furthermore, strengthening the capacity of the government to reform classroom formative and summative assessment systems and roll out the same in classrooms is one of priority intervention under Output 2. “By 2025, the government has improved capacity to Design and implement competency-based curriculum, teaching-learning materials, assessment systems, innovative pedagogy and alternative education pathways to address the differential education needs of children” in a new UNICEF and Government of Uzbekistan Country Programme, 2021-2025 Programme Strategy Note for Education. To ensure these activities are implemented in a timely manner with acceptable quality, UCO Education Section requires assistance of an international professional individual to provide technical support throughout the process of the process of reviewing and revising classroom assessment systems in line with the competency-based approach. Objectives of the assignment
  1. Review existing assessment practices in Uzbekistan, both formative, and summative, analyse and share findings, highlight any areas of strength, as well as areas in need of development and/or reform;

  2. In close partnership with MOPE and REC develop national policy guidance on assessment, with a specific focus on smooth transitions between primary, and secondary, and secondary, and tertiary, phases;

  3. Provide a clear evidence-based, rooted in exemplars of international good practice, for the national policy guidance adopted, comprising 3-5 case studies, highlighting the various options available; and

  4. Provide parallel, and ongoing, support and technical assistance in the finalisation of the competency-based curriculum, and associated learning and teaching materials (reviews of guidance, feedback, etc.).

Timeline & Deliverables The deliverables are expected to be provided within 70 working days between 15 December 2020 and 1 May 2021: Home based 1. Introduction discussion with a commissioning team (UNICEF and MOPE) on the assignment
  1. Inception Report (up to 25 pages), including the following:
    1. an overview of the anticipated approach to the assignment;

    2. a provisional work-plan, with associated timeframes for deliverables;

    3. a detailed data-request;

    4. detailed planning of tasks of the consultant, MOPE officials, and UNICEF team


By 30 December 2020, 5 working days 2. Prepare detailed planning of tasks of the consultant and UNICEF team to implement the ToR 3. Review initial data shared, to inform an updated data request. 4. Liaise with UNICEF and MOPE to arrange a workplan for primary engagement with stakeholders. Home Based (with scope for travel if restrictions are lifted) 5. Review existing assessment practices in Uzbekistan, both formative, and summative, analyzing and sharing findings, highlighting any areas of strength, as well as areas in need of development and/or reform
  1. In-depth report (of up to 50 pages) on existing assessment practices in Uzbekistan, including detailed Analysis, and key recommendations; and

  2. Presentation to Shareholders.

25 January 2021, 15 working days 6. Review all documents shared by MOPE, and other government bodies, as appropriate. 7. Undertake Key Informant Interviews and Focus Group Discussions, with stakeholders, to complement documentation review, and ensure thorough insight into local assessment context. 8. Present finding and recommendations to stakeholders in a half-day workshop. Home Based (with scope for travel if restrictions are lifted) 9. Develop national policy guidance on assessment, with a specific focus on smooth transitions between primary, and secondary, and secondary, and tertiary, phases.
  1. National Policy Guidance on Assessment (up to 50 pages);

  2. Case Studies (up to 50 pages); and

  3. Presentation to Stakeholders.

By the end of March 2021, 40 working days. Prepare a document setting out the rationale for the national policy guidance, comprising 3-5 case studies, highlighting the various options available Present National Policy Guidance on Assessment to stakeholders, and update the National Policy Guidance in light of feedback received. Home Based (with scope for travel if restrictions are lifted) Provide parallel, and ongoing, support and technical assistance in the finalisation of the Competency-Based curriculum, and associated learning and teaching materials (reviews of guidance, feedback, etc.) Reviews of written documents (up to 8 days of review activity). April 2021, 8 working days. Develop a final report on the assignment A final report on the assignment (up to 25 pages). May 2021, 2 working days. Total  70 working days Methodology/Activities Activities that need to be undertaken to ensure quality results are listed in the section above. Management The consultant will report to and work under the direct supervision of UNICEF Uzbekistan Chief of Education. UNICEF Uzbekistan Education Officer is the main focal point and liaison between the consultant, UNICEF and its partners. The CRWG will be placed at the Republican Education Centre and the Consultant will technically be leading and closely working with both of them. At the training of trainers and piloting stage the consultant will also collaborate with regional departments of education with the support from REC and UNICEF Education Officer. All outputs of this TOR are subject for the review of UNICEF Education Officer and MOPE Main Department in charge of organization of educational process in general secondary schools. Resource requirements and payments The consultancy will be paid by bank transfer and upon acceptance of deliverables in accordance with the following payment schedule: (1) Inception Report 10% (2) In-depth report on existing assessment practices in Uzbekistan, including detailed analysis, and key recommendations; and (3) Presentation to Shareholders. 30% (4) National Policy Guidance on Assessment; (5) Case Studies; and (6) Presentation to Stakeholders. 40% (7) A final report on the assignment 20% Travel to Tashkent, Uzbekistan (including to the regions in the country) may be deemed necessary as per programmatic needs taking into account situation around Covid-19 pandemic. Should there be a need for such travel, UNICEF Country Office will arrange the travel as per its travel policy and in compliance with Financial Rules and Regulations. According to UNICEF policy, the final fee will be set up based on the “best value for money” principle. 70 working days are allocated for accomplishment of all tasks and deliverables within the period of December 2020 - June 2021. The Consultant fee will be paid upon successful completion of each deliverable and certification by supervisor. To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
  • Post-graduate degree in social sciences preferably in one of the specialized fields of education.

  • Understanding of, and experience in Curriculum Development and competency-based education, including at international level, as well as in-depth knowledge and expertise in the field of assessment practices, and of drafting case-studies on exemplars of good practice.

  • Experience in organizing and conducting trainings and workshops.

  • Good knowledge of International students assessment programmes, such as PISA, PIRLS, TIMSS, as well as international benchmarking approaches, and comparative international approaches to assessment.

  • Good analytical and report writing skills.

Procedures and Working Conditions The assignment will be home-based but will include three in-country visits (Tashkent, Uzbekistan). UNICEF will ensure the detailed briefing and feedback for the consultant via Skype and/or other online tools. Relevant UNICEF documents pertaining to the assignment will be provided. Reservations UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if deliverable(s) incomplete, not finalized or for failure to meet deadlines. UNICEF will reserve copyright of all developed materials and own primary data collected through this assignment. The materials cannot be published or disseminated without prior written permission of UNICEF. UNICEF will be free to adapt and modify them in the future. The contractor must respect the confidentiality of the information handled during the assignment. Documents and information provided must be used only for the tasks related to these terms of reference. UNICEF undertakes no liability for taxes, duty or other contribution payable by the consultant on payments made under this contract. 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. 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. Remarks 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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