UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to protect the rights of every child. UNICEF has spent 70 years working to improve the lives of children and their families. Defending children's rights throughout their lives requires a global presence, aiming to produce results and understand their effects. UNICEF believes all children have a right to survive, thrive and fulfill their potential to the benefit of a better world.
Consultancy Title: CONSULTANCY SUPPORT TO EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION DIRECTORATE AT THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION IN JORDAN
The National Human Resources Development (HRD) strategy (2016-2025) of the Government of Jordan envisages universal access of young children to quality early learning and development by 2025 with a view of promoting primary school readiness and ensure better learning in later years as well as healthy lives and future well-being.
In July 2017, the MOE in partnership with UNICEF, launched the 8 years ECE strategy Towards Universal Access to KG2 by 2025. In March 2018, MOE launched its Education Strategic Plan (ESP) 2018-2022, prioritizing Early Childhood Education as one of its 6 key-domains, and reiterating the objectives already laid out in the national HRD and ECE strategies. The ESP aims to expand access to Kindergarten 2 (KG2) services from 59 to 80 per cent by 2022, which represents an increase from 90,000 to 122,000 children.
There is a strong sense that progress needs to be accelerated and that the ECE Directorate at the Ministry of Education requires technical support to advise, help plan, manage, monitor and coordinate the implementation of such a daunting agenda, as there is a risk in falling behind in the implementation of the strategic plan. UNICEF aims to provide such support within the ECE Directorate over a 1 year period, potentially extended upon a positive evaluation and pending funding available.
Education in Jordan has been put under pressure by its population increase, partially caused by the influx of refugees Over 63 per cent of Jordan population is below the age of 30. 23 per cent of the population is made up of refugees. Crude birth rate is 26.5 per 1000 population and it has increased over the years, and 12% of the population is between 0-4 years old (Census 2015). The system has been struggling both to ensure access to quality education and learning for all children residing in Jordan. This is manifest in low access to KG (13% for KG1 and 59% for KG2) with significant disparities between access for Jordanian and non-Jordanian children and enrolment rates for Syrians in Early Childhood Education (ECE) are dramatically low (32 % of Syrian 5 year olds accessed KG versus 73% for Jordanian children, as per 2015 census).
Preliminary findings from a recent KG study by the Early Grade Reading and Maths Project (RAMP) reveals that 84 per cent of 5-6-year-old children in Jordan already access some type of KG2, which is significantly higher than the official figure (59 per cent). This is because a considerable number of existing (mostly non-governmental and private) services is working under the radar as they have not yet been officially registered. This lack of registration is due to a number of reasons: standards do not meet the criteria and standards, registration and licensing processes are too bureaucratic, or providers are insufficiently aware of the processes for registration and licensing. The study findings suggest that if all existing services were to be licensed (and capacities of providers built to deliver up to standard), MOE would achieve its 2022 target. MOE aims to contribute to KG2 universalization through the provision of 1575 additional classrooms (710 through public and 865 through non-public provision) by 2022/23.
A number of partner agencies (the World Bank and USAID in particular) and a range of (I)NGOs are contributing to implementing the ECE strategy and helping to increase provision. A technical working group is expected to be set up under the ESP coordination mechanism soon to promote a better coordination. The strategic plan further relies on forging strong partnerships between the public and private actors as well, and initiatives have been taken by MOE to disseminate the ECE strategy and request for close collaboration with civil society, communities and private providers.
PURPOSE OF THIS CONSULTANCY
Keeping in view the above background and situation this consultancy is aimed to achieve the results associated to Early Childhood Education (ECE) effectively and efficiently, and in particular to accelerate the plans and implementation process in universal access to KG2 in the country described in the Education Sector Plan 2018-2022.
OBJECTIVES OF THIS CONSULTANCY
The overall objective of this consultancy is to support the MOE/ECE Directorate to accelerate the implementation of the relevant ECE strategies (the ESP/ECE domain, 8-year ECE strategy, national HRD/ECE component).
In order to reach the objectives, the consultant will be based within the ECE Directorate of MOE, engaging on a daily basis with the director and her team, and following a workplan that will be agreed during the inception phase and reviewed on a quarterly and monthly basis.
Key-activities will comprise:
Provide day-to-day advice and technical support to the MOE/ECE Directorate in particular with regard to the implementation of ESP activities through better planning, budgeting, monitoring, reporting and coordination of implementation of the afore-mentioned strategies. This will require the consultant to thoroughly review these strategies, and engage with the officials and institutions responsible for authoring and monitoring those (including the Minister, SGs, DG, Effectiveness and Efficiency Unit at the Royal Court), undertaking field visits and organizing meetings as required; Identify systemic gaps and bottlenecks, and suggesting and negotiating solutions with the required officials, institutions and platforms. Examples are: accelerating licensing of CBO and private provision, mainstreaming KG best practices into curriculum, teacher training, quality assurance. Proposals for solutions may consist of concept notes, presentations or in a more advanced stage TORs for additional technical support required; In coordination with relevant partners and institutions, review and analyse available data, promote and support a reliable and comprehensive data-base and analysis of key-indicators and trends on KG provision, access and quality. This will entail coordination with the Queen Rania Centre (QRC), UNESCO (providing technical support to Open EMIS), USAID/RAMP (undertaking the mapping survey) and UNICEF (undertaking additional surveys in camps and double shift schools); Promote and support coordination between relevant ministries (MOE, MOSD, MOL, MOIT), between departments in MOE, and between MOE and its relevant directorates and institutions, AMAP using existing mechanisms and platforms; Review any existing capacity building assessment and/or strategies and plans for officials, directorates, schools, etc. and make a proposal for capacity development, drafting TORs for additional technical services if required; Build capacity of the MOE/ECE team and other stakeholders on state-of-the art insights and best practices in quality KG provision (including play-based learning, life skills and community involvement). These will be based on the consultantâ€™s own technical knowledge and desk reviews of academic literature and case studies for which UNICEF will help advise a bibliography and/or professional network; Promote and support coordination between MOE and development partners (donors, agencies, NGOs, CBOs) contributing to ECE through the existing coordination platforms, committees or working groups. Close collaboration will particularly be required with the World Bank (which will be providing specific technical assistance to support PPP, teacher training and quality assurance).
The consultant is expected to have the following qualifications
Education: Minimum Masters degree in social sciences, education or relevant discipline (preferably with a specialization in ECD or ECE)Work experience: Minimum 5 years relevant technical experience in advising national level programme development and implementation; Experience in the middle eastern region, and prior experience working with UN or international development agencies is an asset. Experience in working with national and government counterparts in Jordan is desirable. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills: the ability to successfully and effectively liaise with people in a wide range of functions in a multi-cultural environment. Technical knowledge: Minimum 3 years relevant experience in programme management (planning, budgeting, monitoring, reporting ECE strategy); Proof of relevant experience in advising and building capacity of government in ECE in education; Proof of relevant experience in data analysis; Strong communication, analytical and writing skills, ability to conceptualize, plan and prepare analytical reports; Mastery of MS office and other relevant applications; Language: Fluency in Arabic and English is must; Excellent writing skills (Arabic and English is a must)
This vacancy is archived.