Consultant on Alternative Education Policies and Strategies
Parent Sector : Field Office
Duty Station: Beirut
Classification of duty station: [[filter12]]
Standard Duration of Assignement : [[filter13]]
Job Family: Education
Type of contract : Non Staff
Duration of contract : From 1 to 6 months
Recruitment open to : External candidates
Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 23-MAY-2022
UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism
OVERVIEW OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE POST
After a steady decrease of out-of-school children, adolescents and youth of primary and secondary school age in the Arab States from 16,735,519 in 2015 to 15,632,474 in 2019, the number increased to 16,049,840 in 2020. This is due to the unprecedented worldwide COVID-19-related school closures that affected approximately 110 million children and youth in the region. On top, the exacerbating conflicts and socio-economic crises in many Arab countries, such as Sudan, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Palestine, have led to a growing pile of challenges and obstacles (weak infrastructure, unavailability of devices, connectivity, lack of teacher training on digital skills and use of technologies, etc.) that prevented education systems and teachers from delivering quality education that meets emerging needs. The pandemic has accelerated the shift of teaching and learning towards digital solutions, forcing countries to switch to online, distance and blended education without prior planning and preparation, and rendering traditional teaching and learning methods obsolete. Teachers found themselves in a difficult situation, having to adapt their teaching methods, learning materials, contents, and assessments to fit distance/blended learning modalities with little to no help and guidance. Many education policy- and decision-makers were also forced to make swift decisions to adjust and adapt their policies and strategies for responding to the rapidly changing education and health-related developments.
Funded by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (herein after referred to as “KSRelief”) and implemented by the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States (herein after referred to as “UNESCO Beirut”), Education is Peace is a regional project launched in 2019 for an initial period of 1 year (2019-2020) before being renewed for an additional year (2020-2021).
The project aims to develop regional resources and build the capacities of teacher trainers, teachers, educators, education practitioners and policy- and decision-makers to ensure quality education for all with a special focus on supporting Arab countries in crises through Education in Emergencies (EiE), and through promoting peace, tolerance, and social cohesion in the region.
The project encompasses 3 main objectives:
• Extend the benefit from developed resources;
• Sharing knowledge with target groups and beneficiaries; and
• Promoting networking with other regional and global networks.
The purpose of this assignment is to develop Synthesis of Framework on Alternative Education Policies and Strategies that includes provisions for educators and policy makers to consider alternative education options to students’ at risk of school failure and/or dropout. The framework will be a tool that advocates and/or proposed models that advocate for alternatives to traditional school models to meet the needs of students in crises situations.
The material to be developed will be built on existing material developed and/or available at UNESCO and/or other agencies to make sure it is complementary to existing ones used around the world.
The material to be developed will specifically focus on the Middle East and North African, countries in crises such as Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, Yemen, Tunisia and others. It will also address a wider audience in the Arab world.
In this context, UNESCO Beirut Office calls for an individual consultant to deliver the above material indicated.
The formal education system in the Arab world, particularly countries in crises fall within the traditional system of education. Alternative education policies and options are either absent and/or slow to materialize, particularly for kids at risk of school failure and/or dropout. As education retention drops and dropout increases, particularly among youth, governments has to consider new models that advocate for alternatives to traditional school models to meet the needs of students in crises situations. The formal education system as known must adapt to emerging needs and no experimental models and the synthesis framework will be showcasing these policies, strategies and models. A case study approach could be one way of presenting the material, so it is practical and adaptable to local contexts.
Advocates argue that alternatives to the traditional school model are imperative to meeting the needs of all students (Barr & Parrett, 2001; Natriello, McDill & Pallas, 1990; Raywid, 1989; Wehlage & Rutter, 1987; Wehlage, Rutter, Smith, Lesko & Fernadez, 1989; Young, 1990).
In the United States, charter schools and other public school choice models have been implemented in recent years to address the issue. Raywid (1994) views alternative schools as a “cutting-edge” educational reform, even though they have been in the educational arena for decades.
More and more the school have grown to be community spaces for teachers, students, community partners, CSOs, parents and families at large; however, the school system itself has not adapted itself to this and continue to lack alternatives often seen in private schools but continue to be absent in the public school system. Bridging the community divide and creating spaced for alternative educational practices is needed as students struggle today with multitude of pressures and challenges that extend beyond learning and knowledge acquisition.
Countries such as the United States, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Japan and others have introduced alternative education options and have experimented with new models to adapted to the new learning needs of students in terms of class size, focus or theme approach learning, student teacher choice, community building, empowering staff, active learner engagement, model schools, etc.
Key themes to be explored in the framework could be but not limited to:
• Alternative Education Policies (Definitions and Practices)
• Alternative school /education Models (What it means)
• Case examples from around the world
• What applies and what doesn’t?
• Case examples of alternative strategies in Arab world to build on
• Strategies to adapt these models within the public education system
The deliverable timeline is divided as such:
a. Inception Report for the Assignment (June 15)
b. Semi-Final Draft (July 30)
c. Final Draft (August 15)
d. Formatted and Edited Final Draft (September 1)
• Advanced university agree (Master’s or equivalent) in education, learning recovery, accelerating learning practices, psychology, pedagogy, and or related social sciences.
• A minimum of seven years of relevant professional experience; particularly working on education topics such as curriculum development, student diversity, optimal learning space and environment, alternative teaching methodologies, learning communities, and other.
• Experience teaching and/or working with children and youth in crises situations in the Arab world.
• Working experiences and good knowledge of education and development issues in the Arab region.
• Demonstrated ability to work effectively and independently within a complex and multicultural environment.
• Capacity to deliver high quality results within specified timelines.
• Excellent research, analytical and writing skills in Arabic and English;
• Availability and readiness to start assignment immediately (as of June 2022).
• Experience in contents development for online courses and good knowledge of online course design; experience in developing a similar course (structures and contents) will be an asset.
• Previous experience in working with UNESCO, or other UN agencies, is preferable;
• Fluency in both written and oral English and Arabic is a requirement. French is a plus.SELECTION AND RECRUITMENT PROCESS
Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.
The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview.
UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.
Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.Footer
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