Senior Consultant to develop a Learning through Play Strategy for Rwandan basic education, Kigali Rwanda, 4 months ( Remote/ Work from home & office) at UNICEF – United Nations Children’s Fund(Deadline: 14th August, 2022)

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📋 Job Description Details

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.

And we never give up.

For every child, education

To learn more about UNICEF work in Rwanda, please visit the country website https://unicef.sharepoint.com/sites/RWA/

How can you make a difference?

Purpose of Assignment:

Rwanda is among the top performing countries in sub-Saharan Africa in primary education with a net enrolment rate of 98.9 per cent (98.7 per cent for boys and 99.1 per cent for girls) (MINEDUC 2020/2021). Progress towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 is encouraging, with gender parity achieved at the primary-level, primary, and secondary levels of education.

However, these gains at the primary level need to be matched with improvements in quality of education throughout the system. The curriculum has undergone a major reform and has been introduced across all grades from pre-primary, through primary, to upper secondary level. The revised curriculum is learner-centered, competence-based, inclusive, flexible, transparent, and accountable. The revision aims to develop children to become lifelong learners with the necessary fundamental skills to thrive in the 21st century. The curriculum recognizes the importance of play and integrates play-based learning throughout to achieve intended learning outcomes.

Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) partners have therefore, been exploring strategies to bridge the skill gap in teacher abilities to effectively deliver the competency-based curriculum. This is because it is acknowledged that the implementation of such a curriculum demands a quantum shift from traditional methods of instruction to participatory and interactive methods that allow for active involvement by learners in groups and as individuals. This, in turn, requires a dramatic change in the curriculum delivery methodology for in pre- and in-service teacher training.

Given that the initial capacity of teachers has been improved to understand the basics of child-centred teaching and learning and the application of the revised curriculum, MINEDUC partners intend to focus on building the capacities of teachers in Learning through Play (LtP).  In collaboration with the LEGO Foundation, MINEDUC has been working with five partners (UNICEF, VSO, VVOB, Right to Play and Purpose) to support play-based learning pedagogical approaches and practices as a key driver for improving learning outcomes for children. Emerging evidence suggests that play-based learning approaches can transform the educational experiences of children in primary grades and strengthen learning motivation and outcomes.  Play creates powerful learning opportunities across all areas of development, including motor, cognitive and social and socio-emotional skills.

The partnership with the LEGO Foundation provides an opportunity to enhance implementation of the competence-based curriculum by strengthening LtP approaches and practices in teaching and learning. MINEDUC is therefore keen to put in place a national strategy to guide systemic integration of play-based learning approaches in the delivery of the competence-based curriculum as well as in preservice and in-service teacher training. The strategy will also consider implications for school leadership and management, assessment, inspection and parental engagement. MINEDUC has requested partners to support development of the national strategy.

The overall objective of the consultancy is to support the Ministry of Education to develop a national strategy to guide institutionalization Learning through Play (LtP) approaches in the delivery of teacher training (pre-service and in-service) as well as teaching and learning in schools. The strategy will be a practical guide informed by good practices of LtP approaches in teacher training and the delivery of teaching and learning in the classrooms.

The consultant will therefore be expected to:

  1. Identify (in Rwanda and globally) good practices and lessons learned in application of LtP approaches and practices in delivering competence-based curriculum.
  2. Support development of the national strategy through a consultative process involving all key stakeholders, including teachers and education officials at all levels.

Scope of Work:

  1. Identify good practices and lessons learned in Rwanda and globally

Over the last few years, partners have been supporting capacity building of teachers to adopt LtP in teaching and learning. Good practices are emerging from the various programmes promoting LtP in Rwanda. It is therefore critical to ensure the strategy takes into consideration any good practices and lessons learned from the ongoing programme as well as relevant experiences outside Rwanda. Other developments intended to drive forward change in the education sector provide key opportunities to embed LtP in the education system. These include upcoming National Policy document on Education, the work of the newly formed Steering Committee on Foundational Learning and the planned review of the CPD and SBM Frameworks.  A strategy for LtP can both influence and be influenced by these policies and frameworks and should be developed with these in mind. The consultant is therefore expected to:

  • Map out programmes and resources being used in Rwanda to promote LtP in the delivery of teaching and learning to identify good practices and lessons learned. The mapping and analysis should review challenges and identify opportunities that can support/facilitate institutionalization of LtP across the education system.
  • Conduct a desk review of global practices to identify good practices and lessons that could potentially be applied in the Rwanda context.
  1. Develop the national strategy through a consultative progress

The national strategy needs to be developed through a consultative process to ensure ownership by key stakeholders for sustainability. The strategy should also be comprehensive but practical and actionable.  The consultant will therefore be expected to facilitate consultation sessions with various stakeholders and draft the national strategy that provides clear guidance on how and where to integrate LtP, including:

  • Teacher development (pre-service and in-service). The strategy should guide how LtP will be institutionalized in preservice and in-service teacher training in Rwanda. Key aspects to consider include how to ensure teacher-trainers/tutors are fully capacitated in LtP; teachers apply LtP principles in delivery of teaching and learning and incentives such as certification of training courses offered to teachers.
  • Improving teaching practice (Curriculum delivery). The national strategy should define strategies to encourage teachers to effectively integrate LtP practices such as open-ended questioning; creating positive climate, recognition of effort; group work and interactions among learners that encourage critical thinking and collaboration with other learners.
  • Teaching and learning materials. It is essential to ensure a variety of teaching and learning materials are available and used by teachers to support active engagement of learners. The strategy will outline mechanisms for sustainable supply of cost-effective play-based teaching and learning materials; and strategies for motivating teachers to create and utilize context appropriate materials (including ICT and alternative materials).
  • Learner assessment. The strategy will provide guidance on how the comprehensive assessment systems, including formative and summative assessments can be extended to include measurement of soft skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity.
  • Inspection/Assurance/Monitoring of LtP. Sustaining LtP requires an enabling environment which supports the changes in classroom practice by teachers. The strategy should therefore provide guidance to education officials at all levels on how to support integration of LtP and what to monitor.
  • Communication and advocacy. The strategy will provide clear guidance on communication and advocacy actions required, including approaches required to mobilize parents and communities to recognize the importance of LtP and create enabling environments for rolling out LtP in the education system.
  • Roll out plan and M&E. To ensure its implementation, the national strategy needs to include an action plan with indicative timeframe for achieving full integration in the education system and clearly define roles and responsibilities of key statehooders.  It will further identify capacity development needs and other resources required to achieve the desired institutional changes.

Methodology of the consultancy  

The strategy will be developed through a consultative process to ensure the final product is informed by evidence of good practices in the Rwandan context and the Vision of the Government of Rwanda. The coordination of the development of the national strategy on LtP will be done by MINEDUC/REB.

The consultancy will refer to MINEDUC policies and reports, as well as other relevant policy and practice documents on LtP.   The consultant will work with Play partners: UNICEF, VVOB, VSO, Right to Play as well as other stakeholders involved in supporting basic education. The consultant will be responsible for collection of relevant secondary and primary information, including through field visits as necessary, and drafting of the framework. The consultant will work with stakeholders to coordinate all the work related to development of the framework. While preparing the national strategy, the following principles need to be followed:

  • identify current practices/approaches and gaps were applicable/
  • be based on evidence of what works.
  • be cost effective and promote inclusive LtP, quality LtP to all learners.
  • integrate LtP in all education systems and aim at system level change, including policy as necessary.

include strategies for sustainability, monitoring, evaluation, and learning.

Tasks/Milestone:

  1. Develop work plan with timelines for key deliverables
  • Consult key stakeholders to ensure a common understanding of the assignment.
  • Develop a work plan for development of the strategy.
  1. Identify good practices and lessons learned on LtP
  • Map programmes and learning resources being used to support LtP in teacher training (pre-service and in-service) and delivery of the competence-based curriculum for basic education.

Desk review and primary data analysis to establish the status of play-based learning in pre-service and in-service teacher development and its implication to LtP.

  1. Develop the national strategy through a consultative process.
  • Facilitate through a participatory process, the development of a national strategy/framework to guide the integration of play-based learning approaches in teacher training as well as teaching and learning in the classrooms.
  • Draft the national strategy and present to stakeholders for review and inputs.
  1. Facilitate validation activities for the LtP strategy (Including incorporating comments and inputs to the strategy).

Deliverables/Outputs:

  • Approved inception report which includes agreed methodology and timelines of key deliverables
  • Report summarizing good practices, lessons learned, existing policies and frameworks that need to be considered while developing the strategy
  • Draft of the national LtP strategy ready
  • Validated national play-based learning strategy
  • Consultancy report presenting summary of processes undertaken and key recommendations from stakeholders

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • An advanced university degree in Education ( Master’s or Higher). Additional qualification and experience in play-based learning is an added advantage.
  • Minimum of eight years of relevant work experience, preferably at national and international levels, including in programmes that promote play-based learning.
  • Understanding of technical aspects of LtP, in-service teacher training, and primary-level education.
  • Demonstrated experience in strategy development for government and/or international development organizations in the social sector
  • Demonstrated experience in Education strategy development will be an added advantage.
  • Working experience with UN and or other international organizations will be an added advantage,
  • Fluency and excellent writing skills in English required,

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA).

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

Remarks:

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. The candidate may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid).

Do you want to Apply for Senior Consultant to develop a Learning through Play Strategy for Rwandan basic education, Kigali Rwanda, 4 months ( Remote/ Work from home & office) at UNICEF – United Nations Children’s Fund(Deadline: 14th August, 2022) ?


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