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Individual Consultant

OVERVIEW

Parent Sector : Education Sector (ED)

Duty Station: Doha

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) : 10-DEC-2020


UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism

OVERVIEW OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE POST

Background-

Proposed by UNESCO and UNICEF, the Education Situation Analysis is a research activity proposed within the framework of Kuwait’s Risk Mitigation and Recovery Plan under Covid-19 (RMRP). The RMRP is a joint effort by the UN Country Team to support Kuwaiti stakeholders to respond to the socio-economic consequences of Covid-19, and constitutes the UNCT workplan as per the requirement of the UN-Kuwait Strategic Cooperation Framework 2020-2025 (UNSCF). The RMRP is designed to streamline UN efforts to accelerate and/or scale up urgent interventions that will mitigate the impact of Covid-19 and support Kuwait’s ongoing efforts over a six to 18 month duration. The priority areas of the RMRP are derived from the UNSCF 2020-2025, which is aligned with the five themes and seven pillars of the New Kuwait Vision 2035 and the country’s development plan 2020-2025. The RMRP is guided by the five priorities of the UN Framework for the Immediate Socio-Economic Response to Covid-19. 
This Education Situation Analysis will focus on K-12 education and falls under the third priority area of the RMRP – Education and Continuous Learning. The objectives of the research are to: (1) map K-12 education system pre-Covid-19 to establish a baseline; (2) assess and analyse the pandemic’s effects and impacts on the sector; and (3) develop recommendations for the sector’s recovery and resilience, reimagine education, identify priority intervention areas relevant to UNESCO and UNICEF’s mandates and fields of expertise. Further details are included in the ‘Description of Project Deliverables’ section below. 
In total, around 770,000 learners have been affected by school closures in Kuwait from pre-primary to tertiary levels; 580,000 of those are enrolled in primary and secondary schools. The country’s K-12 education system is highly stratified, consisting of public schools that primarily service Kuwaiti students (86 per cent Kuwaiti, 14 per cent non-Kuwaiti), and private and community schools that cater to expat and migrant student communities (73 per cent non-Kuwaiti, 27 per cent Kuwaiti). UNESCO Institute for Statistics and World Bank data indicates that girls outperform boys at all levels of education, with boys more likely to drop out of school or repeat grades, and less likely to complete tertiary education. According to the September 2020 World Bank Human Capital Index, Kuwaiti children are expected to complete 12.0 years of schooling; however, when this is adjusted for actual learning outcomes, children only acquire an average 7.4 years, which indicates 4.6 years of lost learning and a need for significant improvement in the quality of education on offer in the country.  
The global education community has acknowledged that the Covid-19 pandemic has had significant negative impacts on education systems and learning outcomes, exacerbating the digital divide, and generating additional pressures on vulnerable learners and their families. The extent of the disruption and its consequences in Kuwait are the subject of this situation analysis. 
 

DESCRIPTION OF DELIVERABLES

The situation analysis (Deliverable 1) will be made up of three components: mapping, analysis, and recommendations for recovery and resilience. Its scope is limited to the formal K-12 education system, including both public and private educational institutions in Kuwait. The framework for the situation analysis presented below is adapted from the UN’s Post-Disaster Needs Assessment Guidelines Volume B for Education (hereafter PDNA),  which calls for a focus on four key domains: (i) access and learning environment; (ii) teaching and learning; (iii) teachers and other educational personnel; and (iv) education policy. The consultant will also produce a short PowerPoint presentation (Deliverable 2) of no more than 20 slides summarizing the results of the research.

Situation Analysis Components-
The document should comprise the following three sections:
A.    Mapping
The purpose of the mapping is to look at and understand the situation of K-12 education pre-Covid which can serve as a relative baseline for response efforts.
B.    Analysis 
The purpose of the analysis section is to assess and analyse the immediate trends, impacts, and effects of Covid-19 crisis (see PDNA, pp7-10 and 12-14) on the educational sector using an Information Needs Matrix (see PDNA, pp25-27), and taking into consideration the cross-cutting issues of gender, child protection/psychosocial, early childhood development, youth, inclusive education, and rights (see PDNA, pp15-16). Note this section does not need to include an assessment of financial costs.
C.    Recommendations for Recovery and Resilience
The purpose of this section is to develop recommendations for the sector’s recovery, “build back better”, and identify priority intervention areas relevant to UNESCO and UNICEF’s mandates and fields of expertise.

 

THE FOUR KEY DOMAINS

The research should survey the four key domains of system functionality, as developed by the INEE and as set out in the PDNA Guidelines, i.e.:

1.    Access and Learning Environment
This refers to how the education system ensures that girls and boys of all ages have access to quality, inclusive, and relevant education. There is an opportunity not just to re-establish services that may have been affected by the pandemic, but also to ‘build back better’. An example is ensuring that remote learning modalities are accessible, safe, and inclusive for all learners, including those with learning difficulties or disabilities, and those who may not have adequate access to technology/connectivity. It includes linkages to health and protection services, e.g. provision of school meals, to promote the protection and psychosocial well-being of learners, teachers, etc.  
2.    Teaching and Learning
This part of the education system involves curricula, initial teacher education/training, professional development and support, instruction, and assessment of learning outcomes. Circumstances may require intensive training of a new cadre of education personnel (i.e. in Kuwait, many expat teachers left at the beginning of the pandemic and have not been able to return), and training for existing teachers to ensure support for digital literacy for teachers, pedagogical approaches to support remote service delivery, psychosocial resilience among teachers and for learners. Remedial and adapted learning plans and programmes to address learning losses, which are critical in the context of Covid-19 school closures, are included in this issue area. 
3.    Teachers and Other Education Personnel
In Kuwait, Covid-19 forced many expat teachers to repatriate to their home countries and has prevented their return so addressing critical gaps in human resources is vital and attention to initial teacher education, diversity, equity, and transparency in recruitment is important. It is often necessary to adapt the general support, management and supervision in a way that helps all personnel – non-government entities and private institutions – function effectively following the crisis. 
4.    Education Policy
In the context of Covid-19, which forced a rapid transition to remote learning modalities, this may also include policies around certification of online learning and assessment, MOE guidelines on assessing learning losses, ensuring teachers are equipped with high-quality TLMs and rules/regulations around the implementation of remedial programmes, adapted graduation guidelines, and so on. In addition, this involves planning and implementation of education activities that use of new remote learning provision to improve TMLS laws, policies and plans for learning that is delivered for Covid-19 affected school populations. 
 

RECOMMENDATIONS

This should be aligned with national laws and existing sector development policies and strategies. Core components should be: (1) an outline of recovery and resilience needs for Kuwait’s K-12 education sector, crisis impacts and effects; (2) an outline of the most significant vulnerabilities and risks to education sector recovery going forward; and (3) a set of no more than 10 key strategic recommendations to achieve sector recovery and resilience, tailored to the mandates and fields of expertise of UNESCO and UNICEF. The recovery of the education sector should address the damage caused by Covid-19 and consider the following: 
1.    Disaster Risk Management and Reduction
2.    Risk Reduction Education
3.    Improved Information Systems
Data Collection 

This will require a mixed-methods approach using both qualitative and quantitative assessment tools. These data may be based on existing ones on household surveys, national census data, Ministry of Education datasets including Education Management Information Systems (EMIS), and other Ministries, as well as UNESCO, UIS, GEM, UNICEF, and World Bank datasets, and best practices from other countries. In Kuwait, where there is a significant portion of the system that is highly privatized, it will be necessary to collect data from private and community schools. 
Ethical Considerations
The basic principles of respect, informed consent, do no harm, and non-discrimination must be evident throughout the research process. Efforts must be made to ensure appropriate approaches and consent procedures are established for surveying children and youth. The research should use a participatory, human rights based approach and employ risk-reduction and gender-sensitive lenses.
 

LANGUAGE
Long Description
Long Description
COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)
Accountability (C)
Communication (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
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For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.
REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

Advanced university degree (Masters) in the field of Education, Statistics, Sociology, Economics or similar discipline

WORK EXPERIENCE

A minimum of ten years of relevant professional experience in the field of education

SKILLS AND COMPETENCIES

•    Strong understanding of Sustainable Development Goal 4 targets and indicators, and the Education 2030 Agenda;
•    Strong understanding of education policy and planning, child protection, and inclusive learning principles and practices;
•    Strong understanding of, and ability to use, education datasets (e.g. UIS, UNICEF, World Bank, MoE).
•    Strong understanding of the educational issues facing vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, particularly children and youth with disabilities and learning difficulties, children and youth of migrant workers, etc.;
•    Ability to analyze complex issues around inclusion and equity in education which require in-depth examination of educational opportunities available to the learners in Kuwait;
•    Knowledge of Kuwaiti context, including its education history and system, political, social, economic, and cultural conditions. 
 

LANGUAGE

Excellent written and spoken Arabic and English.

LOCATION

First preference will be given to candidates who are based in Kuwait, second preference to those based in one of the Gulf States

DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS

Advanced University degree (Ph.D. or equivalent) preferably in the field of Education, Statistics, Sociology, Economics or similar discipline would be an asset.

APPLICATION PROCESS

 

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.

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