United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

International Consultant (Quality Standards Development for School Improvement)

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Job Description

UNICEF is looking to hire a technical consultant to support the Ministry of Education in the development of harmonized quality standards that attend to the specificities of each sub-sector (ECCE, Primary and Secondary), consolidating existing standards, and developing/adapting others as relevant to complete a comprehensive set of standards, as well as the tools and systems to capture data on quality at each level of education.

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.

For every child, a future

The Kiribati Ministry of Education (MoE) has a vision for improved education service delivery and improved learning outcomes through evidenced based planning across sub-sectors and from ministry to school level. To realize this, the MoE wish to complete a set of comprehensive school standards to be used by inspectors as part of the Quality Assurance system. This work will include (a) a review of existing standards (ECE) and tools and the development of new standards (primary, secondary) that reflect the vision of the ESSP and provide alignment of quality assessment tools; and (b) strengthen guidance for school personnel for school improvement planning, implementation and monitoring based on the standards. It is envisaged that development of school quality standards accompanied by a guidance for school improvement planning, implementation and monitoring will develop shared understanding and common framework for quality improvement for schools and improve the quality of teaching and learning environment and process and students’ outcomes in Kiribati.

In 2017, Kiribati Quality Standards (KQS) were developed by MoE with support from UNICEF. These were developed for the ECE sub-sector with an objective to ensure the quality of ECCE centers across the country, followed by the enactment of ECCE Act in 2017 that provides a framework for the regulation of the provision and operation of ECCE centers. Since then, the KQS has been used by school inspectors to register ECCE centers. KQS assesses the quality of ECCE centers in the following domains: Infrastructure; Physical setting; Health, hygiene and habit formation; Play and learning materials; Classroom management; Curriculum; Learning opportunities; ECCE workforce; Interaction and Assessment. Until 2021, KQS data was collected manually by school inspectors but it is expected to be shifted to digital Data Collection to avoid errors of Data Entry and compilation. Currently, an online platform of KQS data is being developed to track the quality status of all ECCE centers in Kiribati.

Followed by the successful experience of development and implementation of KQS at ECCE-level, UNICEF has agreed to support MoE in expanding the development of quality standards beyond ECCE to primary and secondary level. A number of tools that measure different aspects of school quality at primary and secondary level already exist in Kiribati, including the National Infrastructure Standards (NIS); the school Improvement Plan Standards (SIPS); Teachers Service Standards; and the School Leaders Service Standards. However, these tools measure only specific aspects of schooling, and it is not possible to conduct a holistic assessment of school quality using these. Additionally, the guidelines on the use of the various tools would benefit from attention to clarity and consistency.

With this background, MoE has requested UNICEF to mobilize technical assistance for the development of harmonized quality standards that attend to the specificities of each sub-sector (ECCE, Primary and Secondary), consolidating existing standards, and developing/adapting others as relevant to complete a comprehensive set of standards, as well as the tools and systems to capture data on quality at each level of education. .

The outcomes will be a comprehensive set of standards for use in quality assurance in Kiribati, along with planning and implementation guidelines to support schools in using the outcomes of assessment against the standards to improve quality in their school.

The ultimate aim of the consultancy is to support MOE, school inspectors, head teachers and teachers at ECCE, primary and secondary levels to use quality standards for school quality improvement through assessment, evidence-based school improvement planning, and implementation, including through improved capacity of school personnel and school inspectors.

How can you make a difference?

The consultant is expected to work closely with MoE and provide technical assistance in the following processes.

At the inception phase, the consultant is expected to review existing quality assessment tools of schools in Kiribati including KQS, NIS and SIPS, Teachers Service Standards and the School Leaders Service Standards, as well as global and regional quality standards. The consultant is also expected to collect and review other relevant documents and have meetings with MoE and other education stakeholders to build his/her understanding of the context of schooling in Kiribati. Based on this, the consultant is expected to provide an inception report which should include a gap Analysis of the current documentation and provide clear plan and methodology for the development of quality standards at primary and secondary levels to be used by school inspectors and revision of standards at ECCE level.

The consultant is then expected to facilitate a workshop with MoE officials on the development of implementation strategy of quality standards that involves how/when/who collect the data, including training, rating criteria, how/who compiles and analyses the data, and how to use and disseminate the data including C4D. S/he is also expected to develop piloting strategy of the standards at each schooling level. The pilot strategy should cover geographical locations to be piloted, overview of the training for school inspectors and school personnel, and data collection, entry and analysis mechanism.

Once overall quality standards strategy and pilot strategy is agreed by MoE, the consultant is expected to hold a workshop with key education stakeholders to consult key dimensions and indicators for quality standards at each schooling level, ensuring the inputs are captured across diverse contexts and school types in Kiribati.

Based on the consultation(s), the consultant is expected to produce (i)draft quality standards with assessment tools and Administration guidelines of quality standards for primary and secondary schools and (ii)school improvement planning guidelines that link quality standards as well as (iii)training manual for school personnel. The purpose of quality standards is to assess the status of school in various dimensions so that school personnel become fully aware of the quality gaps through the support from school inspectors. It is noted that at the ECCE level, this work will be focused on consultation around the existing KQS documentation and tools and revision of those. The quality standards administration guidelines are expected to specify the roles and responsibilities of school inspectors on when/why/how the assessment will be conducted, and school improvement planning and implementation guidelines are expected to build capacity of school leaders on how to fill in the gaps of quality in various dimensions progressively in short to mid-term with support from school inspectors.

Once draft quality standards, school improvement planning and implementation guidelines and training manual are given initial approval by MoE, the consultant will support piloting the documents and the administration of the standards as part of school inspection. The consultant is expected to incorporate feedback received from the field during pilot-test and finalize the quality standards at ECCE, primary and secondary levels, school improvement planning guidelines, training manual and implementation strategies of quality standards for MoE endorsement and national roll-out.

The consultant will then facilitate the distance training of trainers on quality standards, school improvement planning guidelines and training manual. S/he will continue to provide Technical Support to the process of cascading of the training to schools.

Upon the completion of the training, the consultant is expected to produce a final report that highlights the recommendations of strategies to institutionalize the use of quality standards and improve the quality of schools as well as lessons learned throughout the process. Based on the identified strategies, the consultant is expected provide Capacity Building workshop to MoE’s core staff in their role and responsibilities in evidence-based school planning.

Tasks/Milestone:

Deliverables/Outputs:

Due Date (# of days)

Produce Inception report and work plan based on desk review and discussions with MoE
  • Inception report
  • Work plan
29 March 2021(10 days) Facilitate a meeting with MoE officials on the implementation strategies of quality standards that includes data collection and utilisation strategy, piloting and national roll-out strategy and strategy for institutionalisation of quality standards in Kiribati’s education system
  • Draft strategy for quality standards implementation
12 April (6 days) Facilitate workshops with key education stakeholders relevant to all levels (ECCE, primary secondary) to consult key dimensions and indicators for quality standards
  • Workshop report
26 April 2021(10 days) Draft quality standards with assessment tools for ECCE, primary and secondary level, school improvement planning guidelines based on the stakeholder consultation, as well as training manual
  • Draft quality standards (with assessment tools and administration guidelines) and school improvement planning and implementation guideline at primary level
  • Draft quality standards (with assessment tools and administration guidelines) and school improvement planning and implementation guideline at secondary level
  • Revised quality standards (KQS) and a new school improvement planning and implementation guideline for ECCE level
  • Training manuals
24 May 2021 (15 days) Support pilot-testing process of quality standards and school improvement planning guidelines in three islands
  • Pilot-testing report
  • Revised quality standards, school improvement planning and implementation guidelines, and training manual based on the feedback from pilot-testing
  • Final quality standards implementation strategy
21 June 2021 (12 days) Facilitate training of trainers
  • ToT training report
12 July 2021 (5 days) Support training of all school inspectors
  • Teacher training report including pre-and post-self-assessment
25 August 2021 (5 days) Final report including recommendations of strategies to institutionalise the use of quality standards and improve the quality of all primary and secondary schools
  • Final report
  • PowerPoint presentation that summarised the process of quality standards development and recommendations for institutionalisation
15 September 2021 (10 days) Capacity building for MoE core staff in evidence-based School Planning based on the final materials and prepare reports with recommendation
  • Capacity building report
30 September 2020 (5 days) TOTAL 78 DAYS  (home based consultancy) 

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in education or related field *A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.
  • At least five years of relevant experience such as development and/or training of school quality standards, school inspection guidelines or monitoring tools at national level
  • Relevant experience in working for government and/or international organizations on consultancy assignments, especially in school planning and monitoring
  • Expertise on education minimum quality standards, school improvement planning and monitoring
  • Ability to multi-task and work irregular and long hours
  • Practical experience in the Pacific would be advantageous
  • Fluency in English is required.
The consultant is expected to submit:

  • Cover letter that clearly states how the qualifications and professional experience meet the job requirement
  • CV
  • Brief technical proposal
  • Daily fees (all inclusive)
  • Earliest possible starting date
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:

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.

Apply Now