TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR INTERNATIONAL CONSULTANT : To initiate review and enhancement of national education curriculum to incorporate aspects of disaster preparedness and risk reduction (pre-primary, primary and secondary education)
2. Background and Context:
Education Curriculum in Azerbaijan
The Government of Azerbaijan (GOA) is committed to reform in the education sector on the basis of the Education Reform Program of 1999 and the 10 Years Education Reform Strategy (2003-2013) prepared by the Ministry of Education (MOE). The main purpose of this reform program and strategy is to address many key sectoral issues, to improve the quality of education and to realign the sector with the needs of the emerging market economy and social conditions.
The first phase of the WB/MOE Education Sector Reform Project (2003-2008) succeeded in assisting the Government of Azerbaijan to plan education reforms and increase the capacity to manage them. Over the past four years, significant progress has been made in several key areas: (i) design of the curriculum reform and introduction of a new textbook policy entailing the free distribution of textbooks in core subjects; (ii) establishment of a national system of student assessment involving national testing and participation in international assessment; (iii) establishment of the EMIS and the Policy Analysis and Planning Units at the Ministry of Education; (iv) the approval of a plan for the reorganization and staffing of the Ministry of Education; and (v) adoption of a national strategy for the professional development of teachers.
The first phase of the Education Sector Development Project (ESDP) was implemented over a four-year period of time (2003-2007). As for the curriculum change process this phase mainly focused on implementing the key components of a new curriculum system, i.e.: (a) creating sustainable institutional structures and mechanisms that will ensure the design and implementation of the new curriculum; (b) developing a new concept of the national curriculum as well as a reliable National Curriculum Framework and the subject curricula for Primary education. The first review of the primary curriculum will take place in 2012. Currently the pre-school education and secondary education curriculums are in draft stage.
Disaster Risk Reduction in Azerbaijan
The structure of the landscape, climate and infrastructure makes Azerbaijan Republic vulnerable to number of natural disasters like earthquakes, seasonal floods and landslides and man-made disasters like technological disasters and transport accidents. Every year floods and landslides particularly cause significant damage to agriculture in rural areas and to infrastructure in urban areas as well as serious human casualties. Occurrences of landslides during heavy rains cause significant damage to human settlements, industry, farms and roads.
prevent disasters (the flood that does not happen due to improved river basin management; the buildings that do not collapse in an earthquake);
prepare –including early warning – for the worst (the school children who practice an evacuation drill, the stocks pre-positioned ahead of the hurricane season).
mitigate the impact of hazards (the cholera awareness campaign and child protection network established ahead of the flood season);
R 1 – Governments’ disaster preparedness and educational policy addresses needs and concerns of children, thereby contributing to the building of a culture of safety and resilience at all levels by reviewing the national education curriculum and disaster preparedness policy documents to enhance the DRR in education elements and strengthen teacher training methodologies.
UNICEF Azerbaijan in collaboration with the Ministries of Education and Emergency is seeking to review the education curriculum to enhance aspects of disaster risk reduction. Alternatives for curricula integration include designing specialized courses on the topic of risk reduction or integrating risk reduction modules into existing subjects. Depending upon circumstances it may be quicker to design stand-alone risk reduction courses, however these may be more costly and difficult to sustain in the longer term. If a topic has a reserved space in one of the mainstream subjects (i.e. geography, biology, history) it will be easier to stick to it and develop its contents over time. Another compromise is to integrate risk reduction into activities during the school day that are not part of the curriculum. However, these tend to be elective and will reach a smaller sub-set of pupils. Extra-curricular activities are also more difficult to implement in situations where schools work in several shifts. A combination of curricular and extra-curricular activities (such as those described in the next section) may be the most effective option presents a “golden” opportunity to integrate disaster risk reduction into a number of core subjects while slowly developing awareness, knowledge and skills from an early age onwards. However, DRR education is not a new activity in Azerbaijan to and several relevant initiatives have been undertaken or are underway. There is opportunity to distill the experience from different recent and ongoing projects both within Azerbaijan and in the wider region and identify best practices to enhance the curriculum.
There is a need and opportunity to look at the - more fundamental - development of curricula and associated teaching and learning standards from a risk reduction perspective. The gradual implementation of the curriculum suggests that it would also be most practical to target pre-school and earlier grades as they will be the first to benefit from the new curriculum. That said already well advanced modules/courses for older pupils should not be allowed to slip or discontinue.
The Review of the National Curriculum in Azerbaijan to enhance DRR components will be undertaken based on a General Methodology and Plan provided by the consultant. It will focus on the following aspects: (a) analyzing the quality of current curriculum documents (draft pre-school, primary and draft secondary National Curriculum Concept; subject curriculum standards; additional policy and regulatory documents); (b) analyzing the preparations for the implementation process and ; (c) putting forth a set of recommendations to ensure implementation.
o Specifically, the consultancy is designed to support the Ministry of Education to develop specific proposals for the integration of risk reduction into core subjects of completed primary curriculum:
4. Duty station: Baku, Azerbaijan
5. Supervisor: Aisling Falconer, Education Officer
6. Major Tasks to be accomplished:
7. Qualification or specialized knowledge/experience required for the assignment :
10. Procedures and logistics:
UNICEF will provide the background information, organize meetings and filed visits and provides comments on the drafts.
UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.
Deadline: January 5th 2011, 15:00hrs GMT+4
For further information please contact: Aisling Falconer, firstname.lastname@example.org