International consultant on development of Strategy on Inclusive Education (IE), Kyiv, Ukraine
Job no: 546510
Contract type: Consultancy
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Recognition of inclusion is the key to achieving the right to education and is enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) that contains a reference to the concept of quality inclusive education. According to article 24 of the CRPD, the realization of the right of persons with disabilities to education should be ensured through an Inclusive Education system at all levels. Ukraine ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and its optional protocol in 2010, committing to support the right of every child to access education. The recent Law of Ukraine on Education (2020) formally secures the right of children with disabilities and special educational needs (SEN) to receive education in mainstream settings, improves equity in access to quality secondary education in Ukraine and guarantees the enrolment of children in the most territorially accessible primary schools without any contests; opportunities for children with special educational needs to study in mainstream schools, according to their own learning trajectories; envisages greater financial autonomy of schools, extra payments to teachers; more rights for the student self-governance. Amplified by deinstitutionalization, the push for more inclusive schools has introduced to mainstream classrooms thousands of children with special needs.
According to the State Statistical Service of Ukraine, 2,703,006 persons with disabilities are registered in Ukraine as of January 2020, 163,886 of whom are children (however this number may be higher if child functioning model is applied). Children with disabilities in Ukraine continue to face major challenges and experience high levels of stigma and discrimination as a consequence of the prevailing medical and charity models. Families of children with disabilities do not receive sufficient funding to support their needs, and often lack access to services – particularly to mainstream education at community level – leaving them with limited opportunities to keep their children within the family. As a result, often they are placed in various residential care institutions (special boarding schools or orphanages), precluding any chance of social inclusion in their communities. In 2020/2021 academic year there are 319 special general schools, whereof 264 are residential care for 36,461 children.
Under the 2017 Law On Education, children with special educational needs have the full right to receive free-of-charge education in all state and municipal educational institutions. These new developments have led to a rapid increase in inclusion of children with special educational needs in mainstream classes, from 2,720 in January 2016 to 19,345 in January 2020. At the beginning of 2020, there were 13,782 inclusive classes in regular schools in Ukraine. In the 2019/2020 academic year, 35 per cent of all general secondary education institutions were organizing inclusive classes. In 2020/2021 academic year, 25,078 children are being educated in inclusive classes and 5,844 in special classes. However, a larger number of children with disabilities are still living in residential institutions.
Ministry of Education and Science made an important step forward in promoting Inclusive Education. The previous network of psychological-medical-pedagogical centers has been transformed into Inclusive Resource Centers (IRCs)that assess and support inclusive schools and preschools methodologically, advise parents and promote inclusion in local communities. By September 2021, 638 Inclusive Resource Centers have been established in all regions of Ukraine to uphold the right of children aged 2 to 18 with special educational needs to receive preschool and general secondary education. Inclusive Resource Centers comprehensively assess the children’s psychological and pedagogical development; provide psychological and pedagogical, correctional and developmental services; and provide systematic and qualified support for the children. Currently, inclusive education is organized in almost 43% of Ukrainian schools.
Creating a barrier-free and inclusive learning environment is a leading initiative of UNICEF Ukraine Education Program and a shared priority of the Ministry of Education and Science (MoES) of Ukraine. Working closely with UNICEF and other stakeholders throughout 2020, MoES developed a draft National Strategy of Inclusive Education, that was not approved. While the narrative part of the document should be further supported by stronger references to the role of meaningful participation of every child in education and social life, the accompanying Action Plan 2020-2030 makes several direct stipulations on policy, standardization, and provision of assistive products as well as cross-sectoral engagement around Inclusive Education.
How can you make a difference?
The purpose of the consultancy is to provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (MoES) to develop the National Strategy for development of Inclusive Education and Action Plan:
- To provide an overview of the most recent normative framework, studies, reports (2020 GEM report on IE, cwd in the pandemic, etc)
- To take stock of progress, challenges, and new emerging issues in view of the pandemic at system, community and school level
- To support participatory and consultative process of all stakeholders (MOES, responsible institutions, other partners working in the country, schools, organizations of persons with disabilities, parental networks)
- To develop a draft National Strategy on Inclusive Education and Action Plan and a roadmap for implementation of the strategy with responsible institutions and timelines
The Consultant will summarise the inputs from the MoES and working groups on Inclusive Education, draft the strategic framework and analytical overview, facilitate further discussions and consulting process with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and other relevant stakeholders in Inclusive Education, and support the revision of the Strategy document and Action Plan, taking into account inputs from all stakeholders and international best practices. Considering the tight timeline and significant volume of analytical work and need for convening and moderating discussions wide range of partners, a national Consultant with strong experience in Inclusive Education will be recruited to support and share the scope of this assignment. The International Consultant will work under the direct supervision of UNICEF Ukraine, Education Section, and in close collaboration with national consultant, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (MoES), CSOs and relevant stakeholders.
To reach specific objectives, the Consultant will have to complete the following tasks and deliverables :
- Conduct desk review of roadmaps and national plans on implementation of Inclusive Education
- Analyse the experience and best practices of foreign countries (i.e. Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Britain, USA, any other countries) leading in Inclusive Education and identification of best strategic goals applicable for Ukraine
- Analyse prevailing international and national policies, alignment with other strategies (i.e. National Strategy on Deinstitutionalization, National Strategy on Decentralization, etc.), standards pertaining Inclusive Education and integrate the obtained results from analysis in the set of recommendations to the draft National Strategy
- Review the availability and quality of existing data (statistics on children with special educational needs) and analytical work around the rights of children with disabilities through documentation of research and evidence regarding children with disabilities.
- Review and analyse how current legislation on Inclusive Education addresses educational needs of children with disabilities in conflict-affected areas in Eastern Ukraine (Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, GCA)
- Analyse access of children with special educational needs and children with disabilities to existing general curriculum, identify main bottlenecks and develop recommendations on adaptation (i.e the necessity for the provision of individualized education plans, which can identify the reasonable accommodations and specific support required for an individual child, including the provision of assistive compensatory aids, specific learning materials in alternative/accessible formats, modes and means of communication, and communication aids and assistive and information technology) and incorporate the results from analysis in draft Strategy
- Analyse mechanisms of professional development for teachers, school administrators, psychologists, IRC specialists in inclusive education.
- Analyse EMIS on available data on children with disabilities and on the school environment, whether it captures data necessary for promoting inclusive education of all children
- Analyse existing mechanism of financial support of the needs of children with special educational needs
- Analyse approaches used by teachers, headmasters, psychologists, and Inclusive Resource Centres (IRC) specialist to the assessment of the children with special educational needs and support their needs in the educational process
- Analyse existing monitoring mechanism for the quality of services rendered and provide recommendations on development of tools to monitor the progress of a child with special educational needs during Inclusive Education
- Analyse the strategy design to examine the extent to which the strategy can be evaluated in a reliable and credible fashion; and to ascertain whether its objectives are adequately defined and expected results of the Action Plan are verifiable.
- Develop a final report and draft National Strategy on Inclusive Education, make a presentation of the findings to the Ministry of Education and Science, the working group on Inclusive Education and other relevant stakeholders for further endorsement of the Strategy
Work Assignment Overview
Tasks/Deliverables: Conduct a desk review on issues, needs, trends concerning inclusive education; conduct secondary data review on roadmaps and national plans on implementation of Inclusive Education from other countries. Review and analyse existing national policies, strategies, standards and interventions pertaining Inclusive Education in Ukraine and integrate the obtained results from analysis in the set of recommendations to the draft National Strategy. Review the availability and quality of existing data regarding children and families with disabilities and special educational needs. Analyse access of children with special educational needs and children with disabilities to existing general curriculum, identify main bottlenecks and incorporate the results from analysis and recommendations in draft Strategy. Analyse mechanisms of professional development for teachers, school administrators, psychologists, IRC specialists in inclusive education. Analyze EMIS on available data on children with disabilities and on the school environment, whether it captures data necessary for promoting inclusive education of all children. Compare and analyse conceptual approaches to the development of Inclusive Education in the education system of Ukraine. Development of the methodology and questionnaire for the interviews. Review and analyse how current legislation on Inclusive Education addresses the educational needs of children with disabilities in conflict-affected areas in Eastern Ukraine (Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, GCA). Deliverable: Inception and evaluability report. Draft evaluation report in English containing information, analysis, and recommendations. Analytical note as evidence for strategy development Deadline: 30 December 2021 (10 w/days).
Tasks/Deliverables: Analyse existing data and monitoring mechanism for the quality of services rendered by Inclusive Resource Centres (IRC) and provide recommendations on ways in which their work can be further strengthened in relation to assessment, support, and monitor the progress of a child with special educational needs during Inclusive Education. Deliverable: Review of the existing documents and practices of IRCs (support, monitoring, and recommendations to schools on support provision for children with disabilities). Presentation of set recommendations for Monitoring and Evaluation framework for Inclusive Education in Ukraine (PowerPoint) Deadline: 14 January 2022 (7 w/days).
Tasks/Deliverables: Facilitation of meetings of the expert working group on Inclusive Education and Strategy discussion (at least 3 meetings). Conduct interviews with relevant stakeholders in Ukraine on their vision and capacity to support implementation of Inclusive Education. Deliverable: Report on outcomes of the consultations and incorporate them in the draft in accordance with inputs from interviews and consultations. Deadline: 10 February 2022 (10 w/days).
Tasks/Deliverables: Based on the findings and consultations, develop a final report and draft National Strategy and Action Plan; make a presentation of the recommendations to MoES, relevant stakeholders and parents with children with disabilities and special educational needs; collecting final comments from them. Deliverable: Final high-quality detailed report and draft National Strategy and Action Plan; Power Point presentation to be shared during a meeting between UNICEF and Ministry of Education and Science. Deadline: 24 February 2022 (10 w/days).
Terms of payment: Upon completion of each deliverable according to schedule.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
Education: Master's degree in Social Sciences, Public Administration, Psychology, Sociology, Pedagogy, Medicine or another relevant discipline.
Professional experience: At least 5 years of experience in the development of long-term strategies for government, analytical reports and policy/strategy documents, action plans. At least 5 years of experience in conducting evaluations for multi-sectoral/integrated program approach-based consortium projects/programs, collecting data, and producing quality baseline/midterm/end line study reports, preferably for international non-governmental organizations or multilateral agencies. Extensive professional knowledge in Inclusive Education or related Social Sciences field. Proven experience in policy analysis and strong analytical skills. Demonstrated knowledge on topics related to Inclusive Education and/or disability. Experience in facilitating consultations with government representatives, CSOs, parents and children with disabilities and other stakeholders. Experience working closely in partnership with ministry counterparts, international development agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other collaborators/stakeholders. Excellent writing skills.
Language: English - Proficient/Native [C2]; Ukrainian - is an advantage.
For every Child, you demonstrate…
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UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, and on any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.
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