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International Consultant (Gender & Inclusion Expert for development of textbooks and teacher guides)

OVERVIEW

Parent Sector : Field Office

Duty Station: Kabul

Job Family: Education

Type of contract : Non Staff

Duration of contract : From 1 to 6 months

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 05-DEC-2020


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

OVERVIEW OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE POST

Background and Context

Under the Afghanistan National Education Strategic Plan III (2016-2021), a key component for improving quality and relevance of education is to undertake a comprehensive and evidence-based curriculum revision for general education. Under the “Better Education Systems for Afghanistan’s Future (BESAF)” project funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), UNESCO has provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Education (MoE) to develop a national Curriculum Framework for General Education and syllabi of learning areas (subjects). 

 

With the completion of the Competency Based Curriculum Framework and learning area syllabi, UNESCO is currently working in partnership with MoE curriculum development technical working groups to develop competency-based textbooks and teacher guides in various learning areas. The new competency-based textbooks, different from the existing ones which lack some practical applications and relevance, will be used for teaching and learning in classrooms across Afghanistan as part of the national curriculum reform. Teacher guides are to be developed alongwith.

 

Equitable and inclusive education is one of the key teaching learning principles promoted in the curriculum framework to be embedded across all subjects as envisaged by the new national curriculum framework for general education. In this context, UNESCO is recruiting an international expert in the domain of gender and inclusion, to promote equitable and inclusive education, who has experience of textbook writing/teacher guide development and mentoring of writers to develop gender sensitive and inclusive subject textbooks and teacher guides. The expert would mentor national curriculum writers to produce textbooks and teacher guides of Grades 1-6, incorporating gender and inclusion, in line with the competency-based Curriculum Framework of Afghanistan. 

 

Development of textbooks and teacher guides would be done by the Curriculum Development Teams or CDTs of different learning areas (subjects), consisting of national curriculum writers. Each CDT of a learning area would be mentored by an international learning area expert along with a national curriculum development expert or National Technical Assistant (NTA) in the learning area. The CDT members or national curriculum writers would be drawn from government officials of MoE, Curriculum Directorate, Teacher Education Directorate, progressive teachers and representatives from other governmental and non-governmental educational organizations. 

The curriculum development process would be spread over a period of around 4 months, wherein three curriculum development workshops would be organized online or in Kabul and there would be online support by the international experts after the workshops.  The expert is required to facilitate plenary sessions on developing gender sensitive and inclusive textbooks and teacher guides at the three workshops online or in Kabul (if the COVID-19 situations allow international travel of the expert) and provide online support in between. The workshops would be organized for CDTs of various learning areas like Science, Maths etc. and would be a blend of plenary sessions and exclusive break out groups of the CDT of learning areas, led by an international learning area expert. When not leading plenary sessions, the expert would be dong sessions in break out groups of CDTs of different learning areas on gender and inclusion and embedding gender sensitive and inclusive ideas in drafts. A mechanism will be put in place for break out groups during online workshops. The expert needs to bring in international experience in gender and inclusion and embedding it in learning resources but at the same time needs to be aware of the Afghan context, ensuring its relevance to the context, in close collaboration with the CDT, UNESCO and NTA.

 

Based on the experiences of curriculum development process especially the capacity building of writers, UNESCO is planning to produce a Guidebook for Curriculum Development, which would be a resource for guiding the further curriculum development process for sustainability and capacity development. The expert will contribute to the development of this guidebook, together withUNESCO curriculum experts and the MoE.

Long Description

Main duties and responsibilities

Under the overall authority of the Director of the UNESCO Office in Kabul and Representative of UNESCO to Afghanistan, the direct supervision of the Head of Education Unit and day to day guidance of the Project Officer-Curriculum Reform, the incumbent will be responsible for providing technical assistance in the development of textbooks and teacher guides from Grades 1-6.In particular, the incumbent will perform the following tasks:

 

1. Preparation:
-Get familiar with the relevant documents relating to curriculum development in Afghanistan such as the competency based curriculum framework. Review learning area syllabi and identify exemplary textbooks and teacher guides from other countries/publishers which are gender sensitive and inclusive, as reference resources for curriculum development in Afghanistan.
-Undertake a review of the first draft of textbooks and provide feedback to the writers to rework and produce further drafts.
-Prepare the Curriculum Development Teams (CDTs) of various learning areas for the further development and refinement of textbook drafts and initiation of writing of teacher guides by familiarizing them with the principles of developing gender sensitive and inclusive textbooks and teacher guides.. This would entail leading webinars, sharing of relevant reading materials on textbook and teacher guide development, online training and mentoring.
-Collaborate with the international learning area experts for preparation of the CDT for curriculum development, including but not limited to making a capacity development plan along the lines of aspects mentioned above, deciding and deliberating on critical matters of curriculum development specific to gender and inclusion, and setting up a mechanism for work modalities.
-Work with UNESCO to design the three workshops on curriculum development, and the modalities of post workshop online support. This would include but not limited to brainstorming with fellow experts, NTAs and UNESCO on process of curriculum development, templates/structures of textbooks and teacher guides, overall design of workshops (including the sequencing of plenary and break out sessions), session designs and ways of working with NTAs, other international experts and CDT.

 

2.  Facilitation:
-Design, develop and facilitate the three curriculum development workshops with a focus to develop capacities of writers to incorporate gender sensitive and inclusive ideas in textbooks in line with the curriculum framework, together with teacher guides. A focus on principles of embedding gender sensitive and inclusive ideas in subject content: tools, methods, examples.
-Facilitate exclusive sessions with break out groups of CDTs of different learning areas on incorporating gender sensitive and inclusive ideas in textbooks and teacher guides, clarify doubts and active mentoring on drafts.
-If required, provide technical input in the development of pilot testing tools.


3. Online Support:
-Provide online support to CDT members of various learning areas during the curriculum development process, particularly after the completion of each curriculum development workshop. This would entail being in periodic audio or video calls  with the NTA, international expert and CDTs to advise on the writing and revision of content and providing feedback on written content over emails and/or other online communication modalities.

Long Description

4. Coordination:
-Coordinate with CDTs of different learning areas based on requests by international learning area exert or NTA, if they 
-Coordinate with the international learning area experts and UNESCO curriculum team members to ensure the smooth implementation of the main duties and responsibilities of this consultancy. Regular online meetings are to be held to provide updates on the progress.

 

5. Knowledge Sharing:
-Contribute to the development of the Guidebook for Curriculum Development, especially in the learning area specific section to gender and inclusion. This will entail drafting assigned sections and reviewing drafts from fellow experts.


6. Reporting:
-Prepare and submit the deliverables on time as indicated in the section below.
-Prepare and submit a short report on the activities of each phase of the project within 15 days of completion of the phase. The report should contain a narrative on support provided to the CDTs with relevant supporting documents attached. It may also contain information on opportunities and challenges in the curriculum development process.    

 

Details of deliverables, schedule, work modality
 The consultancy work is envisaged to be in 4 phases with the following deliverables of the international expert. All deliverables should be submitted in editable formats such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Powerpoint files.


Phase 1
(mid- November 2020 ): Preparatory Phase: To familiarize with the project, CDTs and prepare the CDTs;
-Submit a short capacity development plan for the CDTs
-Submit reading materials on incorporating gender sensitive and inclusive ideas in learning resources, exemplary textbooks and teacher guides from other countries/publishers as reference resources
-Submit written inputs on design of the first curriculum development workshop
-Submit initial feedback on first draft of textbooks

Work Modality/ Location: Remote
 

Phase 2

(November 2020-December 2020): First Online Curriculum Development Workshop (spread over 7-10 days of webinars  ) & post workshop online support;

-Submit a short report on the activities undertaken in Phase 2 including reporting on the workshop and post workshop online support
-Submit written inputs on design of second curriculum development workshop
-Submit written feedback on the first draft of textbooks and teacher guides, submitted by CDT members
-Submit written inputs on the structure and outline of the Guidebook on Curriculum Development

Work Modality/ Location: Remote

Long Description

Phase 3
(December2020- January 2021): Second Online/Physical/Blended  Curriculum Development Workshop (tentatively 5 days if physical/blended and spread over 7-10 days of webinars, if online) Post Workshop online support;
-Submit a short report on the activities undertaken in Phase 3 including reporting on the curriculum development workshop and post workshop online support.
-Submit written inputs on design of third curriculum development workshop and if required, pilot tools.
-Submit written feedback on second draft of textbooks and teacher guides, submitted by CDT members.
-Submit first draft of contribution to the Guidebook on Curriculum Development

Work Modality/ Location: Kabul (if COVID 19 situation allows travel) for the workshops &
Remote for online workshop and post workshop support.


Phase 4
(January- mid March 2021): Third online/blended/physical Curriculum Development Workshop (tentatively 5 days if physical/blended and spread over 7-10 days of webinars if online) & Post Workshop online support;
-Submit a short report on the activities undertaken in Phase 4 including reporting on the workshop and post workshop online support.
-Submit written feedback on final draft of textbooks or teacher guides submitted by CDT members and design drafts submitted by design team.
-Submit final draft of contribution to the Guidebook on Curriculum Development.
Work Modality/ Location: Kabul (if COVID 19 situation allows travel) for the workshops Remote for online workshop and post workshop support.

Payments would be made in 4 installments after completion of each phase subject to participation in all activities and submission of deliverables of the phase.

 

Work Modality
UNESCO will reimburse the travel, boarding and lodging costs of the international expert for the three curriculum development workshops in Kabul in line with UNESCO’s rules and regulations. Only travels actually undertaken by the international expert and as agreed by UNESCO will be reimbursed. Considering the prevailing security situation in Afghanistan, all UNESCO meetings and workshops are cleared by United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) ensuring international security standards for the safety of personnel involved. 

COVID 19 impact: Due to the circumstances arising from the prevailing situation with respect to COVID 19, the expert should be prepared to customize the workshops into online webinars, if conditions within Afghanistan do not allow the organization of physical workshops.

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

Education:

-At least a Masters in Education, Gender Studies, Inclusion and Multicultural studies, Social Sciences or any field related to gender and inclusion.


Work Experience:
-Prior experience of at least 10 years in development of competency based textbooks and teacher guides for general education in the context of gender and inclusion.
-Prior experience in mentoring curriculum writing groups

 

Skills:

-Strong facilitation skills for workshops in developing textbooks and teacher guides.
-Strong sensitivity and adaptability (cultural, gender, religion, race and nationality).
-Ability to summarize and provide concise and comprehensible feedback.
-Proficient in using office productivity tools- MS Office, and video conferencing tools like Skype, Zoom and MS Teams, etc.

 

Language:
-Excellent written and oral English, with effective English presentation skills

DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS

Education:
-Doctoral degree in Education, preferably relating to gender and inclusion


Work Experience:
-Prior experience of working in Afghanistan or Central/South Asia.
-Prior experience of working with Ministries of Education.
-Prior experience of development of textbooks for grades 1-6
-Experience of incorporating a holistic view of gender and inclusion in line with latest research.


Language:
-Good knowledge in Dari/Pashto or Persian.

APPLICATION 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.

Candidates are invited to submit an Employment History Form during online application. It is required to provide the information below:

 

  • Details of work experience, including prior experience of similar and relevant work can be put in the Employment History Form.
  • Insert the following at the end of the Employment History form, as its not possible to upload multiple documents in system: A brief statement (not more than 1 page) indicating how your qualifications and experience make you suitable for the assignment. You can insert a hyperlink to any works or reference to works online. A brief proposal (1-2 pages) discussing the approach/methodology to undertake the assignment, key deliverables with a timeframe and proposed fees.
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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