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Students can learn in different environments and through different ways. Learning may take place beyond the boundary of textbooks and the classroom; it may take place through a diversity of learning materials and experiences. Though textbooks are not the only learning resources, they still play an important role in student learning. Textbooks are not only teaching materials for teachers, but also students' self-directed learning materials for preparation and revision purposes.
Quality textbooks, including both printed and electronic textbooks (e-textbooks), which support a learner-focused curriculum contain the core elements of the subject curriculum, as well as learning strategies useful for the study of the subject. It is vital students' textbook to be accompanied by the quality teacher's guide, that covers concrete instructions and support novice and enable less qualified teachers to plan the process according to the learning objectives of the subject. The amount and quality of the texts to be included therefore deserve greater attention. Other desirable features of a good textbook include interactivity, the ability to arouse the interest of students, and the capacity to actively engage and involve them in the learning process. In other words, good textbooks tell, involve and interact with students.
Besides, using electronic learning resources to enhance interactive and self-directed learning has become a global trend in education. The interactive and diversified sets of e-textbooks developed in line with the local curricula are an alternative to printed textbooks. Schools may select to adopt e-textbooks according to their students' learning needs and capacity, as well as the school infrastructure and technical support.
The national school curriculum aims to help students learn how to learn, cultivate positive values and attitudes, and a commitment to life-long learning. Being broad and balanced, the curriculum promotes life-wide learning, whole-person development and the development of generic skills for equipping students with knowledge and skills to cope with challenges in the future.
To implement the curriculum effectively, it is necessary to have in place a learning environment conducive to successful learning. The environment requires, among other things, a flexible curriculum adaptable to the needs of students, teachers sharing the same philosophy in the learning/teaching process, a variety of quality learning experiences and the provision of quality learning/teaching resources.
The modern education policy advocates the active engagement of all students in education processes and their successes on every level of education. In consequence to this policy, the MoESCS has determined to offer broad education opportunities to various populations of students. Ethnic minority students have been identified as the population of students requiring a consideration of their education needs on behalf of the state and the MoESCS.
Factual Knowledge transmission alone is no longer adequate, as the realm of knowledge is infinite. Providing students with knowledge alone is inadequate. Rather, we have to equip them with a repertoire of skills for acquiring and building up knowledge and instill in them a positive attitude for life-long learning. Existing textbooks are child age inappropriate with poor content and mostly irrelevant texts, questions, activities and/or tasks to the national curriculum.
To align the educational resources with the aims of national curriculum of Georgia and with the educational requirements of in the 21st Century, the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of the Republic of Georgia (MoESCS) commits to improve the quality of textbooks for school students to enable them to access and benefit from opportunities for developing diverse skills of learning according to their interests, needs and abilities.
The MoESCS has demonstrated will to acquire contemporary knowledge, major criteria and modalities for selecting, writing and evaluating quality subject-specific textbooks. The Republic of Georgia shares a neighborhood policy with the European Union and pursues its recommendations for enhancing education systems. The MOESCS is therefore, interested to learn about the best international practices across the countries of the European Union and not only, and to develop the MoESCS strategic model Â and action plan of high, medium and low intensities that would be required for the textbook development in Georgia.
UNICEF stands ready to support the MoESCS with this strategic intent and is currently searching for an international qualified expert/consultant with proven experience in school textbook development and qualified in the European and International Bachelor (EB and IB) programmes, to work and provide technical support to the MoESCS in the development of a national textbook development strategy and action plan.
OVERALL GOAL OF THE CONSULTANCY SERVICE:
The overall goal of the international expert is to work hand-in-hand with the MoESCS and other key stakeholders and provide technical support in the development of the MoESCS strategic model and action plan with high, medium and low intensities on textbook development in Georgia.Â In doing so, the expert will work closely with a national education specialist which will be designated by the MoESCS, with the MoESCS steering committee members, other departments and government agencies, academia groups and private sectors represented by textbook publishers, authors, and others as required.
SPECIFIC TASKS AND DELIVERABLES OF THE INTERNATIONAL EXPERT:
- In accordance to the expert's service ToR, to draft and submit a detailed working plan with precise time calendar and anticipations to reach the overall goal and tasks of the service
Delivery One: experts' detailed action and time plan
- To conduct situation assessment of textbook development system and practices in Georgia, identify strong and weak areas and provide precise recommendations and an action plan.
As part of the situation assessment to:
- review existing strategic, legal, technical and financial frameworks, procedures and practices on textbook development in Georgia;
- review existing researches on education system in Georgia;
- review national curriculum and textbooks - the purpose of this review is to explore overall pedagogical value of the textbooks and look at the quality, usefulness, and appropriateness of the textbook context and its relevance to the curriculum, teachers' qualification and student population for whom it is being used;
- review, analyze and prepare summary of the best international practices that can be relevant for Georgia textbook development system;
- analyze textbook development system that exists in Georgia including analyses of strengths, gaps and provision of recommendations, prepare outlines of different models and strategies that could be relevant for Georgia;
- prepare other relevant issues as required;
- prepare a situation assessment report with power point presentation and present to the key stakeholders for making further adjustments and finalization;
Delivery Two: a situation assessment report on textbook development that will be presented to the national stakeholders
- Develop, present and discuss with key stakeholders different models (scenarios) that are of high, medium and low intensities for textbook development in Georgia.
Delivery Three: report on proposed different models relevant to Georgia
- For the model selected by the key stakeholders, to develop detailed action/time plan, budget and technical instruments (such as ToR for tendering and procuring of institutional and or individual services) that would be required for the implementation of the model and present to the key stakeholders.
- Finalize, present and deliver a final overall report.
Delivery four: a final, overall report including a selected model with an action/time plan, budget and technical instruments that will be accepted by the MoESCS
- In the course of an entire service, the expert will meet and maintain intensive network and cooperation with the major national stakeholders in Georgia from the MoESCS, academia groups, publishing houses, field experts and authors of textbooks, school teachers, administration, parents, students, other stakeholders as required.Â During developing the model of textbook development, the expert will pay particular attention to the gender issues, usage of diverse strategies for students with different abilities, demands and needs. The international experts will develop inputs through participatory approach with national stakeholders.Â
- In the course of the entire service, the international expert will be supported by a national education specialist which will help with accessing different documents, data, web-pages and links, with the review and providing abridged translation of required documents and summaries, with establishing contacts with required stakeholders, organizing meetings, other logistics as required.
DURATION OF SERVICE:
The international expert will be hired for the service of 35 full working days to be stretched in-between December 2019 - April 2020
Mode of the service:
The international expert will provide in-country and off-country service with the following breakdown:
- 5 days (off-country service) to review and familiarize with the national education documents and reports; prepare and submit a detailed action/time plan of the service;
- 10 days (in Georgia) to prepare a situation assessment report on textbook development and present to national stakeholders;
- 10 days (off-country service) to write and submit different models of textbook development relevant to Georgia; hold e-communication (including skype sessions) with key stakeholders to enable them to select the most relevant model for Georgia;
- 10 days (service in Georgia) to develop and present a final drafts and then an overall final report including a selected model relevant to Georgia with an action/time plan, budget and technical instruments.
The international consultant will be paid upon successful submission and acceptance by UNICEF of agreed deliverables as follows:
- First payment 20% - upon delivery and acceptance by UNICEF of a situation assessment report on textbook development in Georgia (deliveries one and two)
- Second payment 20% - upon delivery and acceptance by UNICEF of a report on proposed different models that can be relevant for Georgia (delivery three)
- Third final payment 60% - upon delivery and acceptance by UNICEF of a final overall report including a selected model with an action/time plan, budget and technical instruments (delivery four)
International and national travels and accommodation will be paid by UNICEF in accordance to UNICEF rules and regulations.
- Advanced degree in natural or social sciences and or education policy planning and research;
- Qualified in the European and International Educational Bachelor (EB and IB) programmes;
- Profound knowledge of existing international strategies on textbook development;
- Experienced (minimum five years) in education field assessment, research and policy development;
- Successfully proven research and work experience in supporting different countries with the development of "textbook development systems and strategies";
- Excellent writing and reporting skills in English (copies of author's samples to be attached to applications by interested international candidates);
- Excellent communication and presentation skills;
- Ability to manage complex relationships with a wide range of partners
Interested candidates are kindly requested to upload the following documents:
1. Letter of interest (cover letter) with indication of applicant's ability and availability;
2. CV or resume;
3. Sample of candidate's previous work (education research, study or evaluation including developed strategies on textbook development)
4. Brief proposal describing how a consultant will approach the development of a strategy and action plan on textbook development in Georgia
4. Financial proposal
It is expected that during the service the international expert will pay attention (but not limited) to the following key aspects and principles required for the textbook development strategy and action plan:
- Content: A textbook of a particular subject area should manifest or translate the four components of the curriculum (aims, content, learning/teaching strategies, assessment) for the purpose of student learning.
- Learning and Teaching (L/T): The development of generic skills should be fostered by engaging students in various learning activities to help students learn how to learn. There should be a balanced coverage of cognitive skills of all levels, e.g. skills in information gathering, remembering, focusing, organising, integrating, analysing, generating, etc. Besides, learning activities which are essential to achieving the learning targets should be considered for inclusion into the textbooks. Students' performance in these activities should provide feedback on how well they learn and directions for further learning and teaching.
- Structure and Organisation (S/O): An appropriate structure of the content should be provided to facilitate learning.
- Language (L): Textbooks are important sources of reading for students. Particular attention should be paid to the amount and quality of texts to be included into the textbooks.
- Textbook Layout (TL)
- Pedagogical Use of e-Features (P) -Particular emphases should be made to explain peculiarities of the e-textbook design, e-Features, including multimedia, interactive activities, learning tools and hypertexts that enhance the effectiveness of learning, teaching and assessment activities considering students' abilities and pedagogical needs.
- Technical and Functional Requirements (T/F)
 Reports will be sent to the expert by UNICEF and the MoESCS