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Consultancy Services on Curriculum Adpatation for Special Needs Education (SNE)

Asmara (Eritrea)

The consultant will work under the supervision of the Chief of Education, Child Protection and Participation (BECPP)- UNICEF ECO, and with close collaboration of the MoE and UNICEF ECO technical team. The education team will assist the consultant with gathering of relevant documents. Such documents will include relevant national policy documents and development plans; relevant studies/reviews by various stakeholders as necessary. The consultant will work closely with the Department of General Education and UNICEF team, and hold meetings with various stakeholders, as required. The consultant will be based in Asmara. Travel will be facilitated within the country, through reimbursement of expenses or through direct support from UNICEF, applying UN DSA rates, if necessary during the consultancy.

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.

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Location: Asmara, Eritrea

Type of Contract: Individual Consultant  

Post level: International Consultant

Expected Duration of Assignment:  Six Weeks

Consistent with national and international commitments, the Ministry of Education (MoE) with support from UNICEF has been continuously engaged to ensure equitable access to quality education for all children in Eritrea.. The MoE has also given special attention to children with special needs hence in 2008 developed the Inclusive Education policy and strategy to ensure equitable access and quality education to all type of learners.

In 2009 MoE developed an outcome based and learner-centered National Curriculum Framework for which the learning assessment and progression is prescribed at national level. All schools are expected to follow the centrally prepared curriculum directives.

Despite the commitments, Special Needs Education (SNE) remains elusive in current education operation and the proportion and type of children with disabilities or special needs remains fluid and undefined. Currently, limited special provision is given for children with hearing and vision impairments with three special schools throughout the country (two schools for the deaf and one for the blind) located in two regions, Anseba and Maekel and accommodating small proportion of children with special needs. Those completing elementary level special school education are integrated into mainstream classrooms, often without formally charted learning support or adaptation schemes. Observations indicate, for instance, the visually impaired children miss mathematics lessons beyond elementary school levels.

In addition, special classes are also operational in about 15 mainstream schools around two regions of Eritrea. Rudimentary observations indicate that children with intellectual disability (such as down syndrome), autistic, and other related intellectual or neurological conditions enroll in such classrooms. However, the impairment types to be accommodated in the special classroom remains also fluid, and hence formally charted learning repertoire for these children’s educational needs is barely observable.

The Department of General Education (DGE)/MoE with technical support has tried to institute or/and enhance capacity of staff on ‘Educational Support Needs Assessment’ in Inclusive Education and ‘Adaptation of Learning Materials for Children with Special Needs’ in the past. However, permeation and impact of such knowledge or practice remains limited.

Current Challenges and gaps:

  1. Formal syllabus and learning guidelines for children with special needs in different learning settings- special schools, special classrooms and mainstream schools-  are barely observed or not assorted.
  2. Flexibility of curriculum in accordance with the special educational support needs of children, currently in schools and those that possibly can access the school system, remains uncharted or not sorted. General operational guidelines are highly desired.   
  3. The professional capacity of the curriculum developers on SNE related programme and support remains very limited. Developing practical approaches for promoting curriculum access for various special learning needs, in the context of special schools, special classrooms as well as mainstream modalities remains a challenge.
  4. Mainstream school teacher’s awareness and competence to differentiate or adapt/modify learning materials to students special needs in the present course of operation is minimal.

Hence, developing a methodological guideline that help practioners to adapt of curriculum that accommodates the diverse needs of learners and inclusion of a module in the pre-service training of teacher that will give due considerations for different /special educational needs are important in creating an inclusive education system that serves all children, including those with different abilities and conditions.

Objectives of the Consultancy and Scope of the work

The purpose of the consultancy service is to support the MOE in ensuring children with special educational needs and other disadvantages in all school levels can access the national curriculum through: 

  • Development of methodological guide on how to organize and implement special education classrooms for children with severe and multiple disabilities;
    • Specifically: Review the current practice in organizing and facilitating in the Special needs classrooms; facilitate the definition of the minimum expected learning competencies for all children and draft/develop context specific how to guide for teachers and facilitators;
  • Development of guidelines for facilitating inclusive education by outlining universal designs and checklists for accessible classrooms and learning materials and teaching approaches;
    • Specifically: Review the current practices around designs of accessibility of the classrooms and learning materials design as well as teachers approach;
  • Development of a guideline for adapting the curriculum to make learning accessible for children with special education needs/disabilities;
    • Develop a guideline for curriculum adaptation, accommodation and modification depending on the specific needs of individual learners with a focus on incremental achievement of competencies as defined by the national curriculum;
  • Development of a module for training teachers to facilitate learning for children facing multiple barriers and vulnerabilities including special learning needs;
    • Specifically: Review the existing teachers training modules of special needs education and develop a training module that can be integrated to the teacher training package;
  • Build the capacity of the different levels of MoE professionals (curriculum developers, teacher trainers and infrastructure) to enhance inclusion for learning;
    • Organize training of trainers (ToT) on the various guidelines developed to enhance the capacity of the staff of the different branches of MoE (curriculum developers, teacher trainers and practitioners) to enhance inclusion for learning.

The consultant will work under the supervision of the Chief of Education, Child Protection and Participation (BECPP)- UNICEF ECO, and with close collaboration of the MoE and UNICEF ECO technical team.

The education team will assist the consultant with gathering of relevant documents. Such documents will include relevant national policy documents and development plans; relevant studies/reviews by various stakeholders as necessary.

The consultant will work closely with the Department of General Education and UNICEF team, and hold meetings with various stakeholders, as required. The consultant will be based in Asmara. Travel will be facilitated within the country, through reimbursement of expenses or through direct support from UNICEF, applying UN DSA rates, if necessary during the consultancy.

Tasks and key Deliverables

  1. Desk review of existing relevant national policies, available guidelines and methodological frameworks for curriculum adaptation, relevant studies/reviews by government and other stakeholders on inclusive education and develop an inception report that outlines the methodology of achieving the objectives as stated above.

Inception report outlining the methodology and work plan -One week.

  1. Conduct a consultative meeting/workshop with key partners and stakeholders including the association of children with Autism and Down Syndrome; 
  2. Conduct site visit to selected special schools, schools with special class rooms; inclusive schools and Asmara Teachers Training Institute as required in coordination with UNICEF and MoE;
    1. Narrative report on key outcome of the consultation and the selected visits to the sites as an input to the subsequent task,one week.
  3. Draft the methodological guideline SNE and Inclusive education, Teachers guide, and the teacher training module based on the consultative process and identified key principles and standards for curriculum adaptation
    1. Draft Methodological guide for Curriculum, Adaptation, Accommodation and Modification for SNE;
  1. Draft the methodological guideline SNE and Inclusive education, Teachers guide, and the teacher training module based on the consultative process and identified key principles and standards for curriculum adaptation, three weeks

Teachers guide for inclusive Education

Teachers Training module for SNE

Brief training report with the training outline and materials

 

  1. Provide a TOT to the MOE team once the document and the tools are finalized. 
  2. Draft the methodological guideline SNE and Inclusive education, Teachers guide, and the teacher training module based on the consultative process and identified key principles and standards for curriculum adaptation, three weeks.

Teachers guide for inclusive Education

Teachers Training module for SNE

Brief training report with the training outline and materials

  1. Review, field test the guidelines and incorporate recommendations and finalization of the document.
    1. Final draft of the documents above, one week.

Desired Competencies, Technical Background and Experience.

  • Qualifications - Advanced University degree Masters in Education or Social Sciences and with a focus on special needs and inclusive education;
  • Experience- a minimum of 8 years of experience in research, analysis and or providing technical advice to government and or international development organizations in areas of education quality;
  • Experience in Special Needs and Inclusive Education is required;
  • Excellent networking and interpersonal skills required;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English required;
  • Excellent organization skills, attention to detail and ability to contribute to team work.
  • Desirable experience:
  • Familiarity with development partners, donor / funding environment will be an advantage.
  • Required skills: demonstrated strong analytical, communication and writing skills.

 

Terms and Conditions of the Consultancy.

  • UNICEF will be responsible for the professional fees and other costs arising from the contract.
  • The consultant shall be paid travel expenses in economy class and DSA to Eritrea and professional fee for 6 weeks.
  • The payment will be done upon the completion of the assignment.
  • UNICEF will institute the relevant penalty applicable in the event of the consultant not meeting the timeframe and quality of work.
  • Consultants are not entitled to payment of overtime. All remuneration will be within the contract agreement.
  • Consultants will use his/her own computer
  • Consultant will have access to UNICEF facilities during office hours, such as electricity, telephone, photocopier and scanner to accomplish the tasks.
  • Consultant must sign the Health statement prior to taking up the assignment and submit health insurance (if applicable).
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
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  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Asmara (Eritrea)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • Education, Learning and Training
  • Closing Date: 2018-08-24

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