TERMS OF REFERENCE for the legal review of the Education Law of Azerbaijan Republic with particular focus inclusiveness, provision of preschool education and quality of and access to education for marginalised children
Background and Context:
Article 5 of the “Law on Education” of Azerbaijan Republic, which was adopted on the 19th June 2009 after 15 years of debates in the national parliament, specifies that “The State guarantees the creation of the adequate conditions required for education provision for all citizens and does not allow deprivation from any grade, level and form of education. Regardless of sex, race, skin colour, language, religion, political views, nationality, economic and social standing, origin, health conditions of citizens, the State ensures provision of education and prevention of any discrimination of citizens.” The citizens have the right to choose the type of education, educational institution and language of education.
The basis of the educational policy of Azerbaijan is to ensure equal opportunities for children from ethnic minorities, children of refugees and IDPs, also persons with disabilities while carrying out educational reforms along with ensuring a qualitative education for all citizens. The above-mentioned facts prove that the government will guarantee organization and development of an inclusive education. In the meantime, with the purpose of clarifying the indicated articles and enforcing the obligations coming forth from the Convention “On Rights of Persons with disabilities”, there is a necessity to make changes to the “Law on Education” of Azerbaijan Republic aimed at the organization of an inclusive education.
Despite the existing of the by-law on special education of persons with disabilities” of Azerbaijan Republic, which contains articles on special education, education at home and integrated education, the concept of “inclusive education” has not been included to the list of main definitions in the law. The mentioned by-law provides for an “integrated education” to ensure education of children with disabilities in secondary schools. However, the integrated education component is limited to attendance of the children with disability at secondary schools and does not envisage equal education opportunities for them. Such as, the integrated education means the education of children with disability only at secondary schools in special classrooms with special curriculums. The introduction of modern approaches on inclusive education can create greater opportunities for development of children abilities and their adaptation to social environment regardless of their existing capabilities. This approach needs to cover different levels of education. Thus, the inclusive education can help to break down the isolation.
There are 1618 preschool institutions, of which 1550 are state-run. Gross Enrolment is about 103,617 children, which is less than 20% of the population. About 13,500 staff are involved, 25% with higher education, rest mainly secondary specialised training (Teknikum).
Currently the preschool education is regulated by the by-law (article 18) from 1995, which provides for the structure of preschools, the targeting of children and powers of the Directors of preschools. The relevant Regulation is older and is considered by the Section to need updating, although it is not clear what areas are deemed problematic and it may be more pragmatic to review the whole regulatory framework. There is work going on the development of the specific by-law on the preschool education that will be based on the more recent and valid education law adopted in 2009.
Purpose of the assignment
1. To conduct comparative legal review of Education Law of Azerbaijan Republic with specific focus on the following areas:
· Provision of Inclusive Education for children with disabilities;
· Provision of preschool education;
· Access to quality education for children vulnerable children from marginalised communities and remote areas;
2. Recommend on relevant changes and amendments and appropriate implementation strategies based on the international experience.
Duty station: Azerbaijan (Baku)
Supervisor: Kenan Mammadli, Child Development Specialist
Major tasks to be accomplished:
The Consultant performing the Assignment had to complete the following tasks and responsibilities:
· Collect, familiarize with and analyse the information needed to perform the consultancy:
· Using the existing Azerbaijan legal education documents, samples of relevant education legislature from OECD and transition countries, analyse current provision in Azerbaijan’s education law, the actions required, including:
a) Recommended amendments for Inclusive Education;
b) Recommended amendments for Preschool Education;
c) Recommended amendments for to improve access for children from marginalised and remote communities;
d) Recommended international education legislature for modelling;
e) Recommended follow-up action plan to implement the required amendments with timeframe.
Outcomes and deliverables:
30 May 2012: Final report including all completed activities related to implementation of the assignment, achievements reached, comparison of work performed with work plan, and any substantial issues and recommendations.
The MOE /UNICEF will provide comments on the draft final reports within 10 days after its receipt and the Consulting agency should review the draft report based on the MOE /UNICEF comments and should submit a final report by the expiry date of the Assignment.
1 - 30 May 2012 (1 month)
Qualifications or specialized knowledge/experience required:
The consultant or consulting agency should have:
· Significant experience in legal work especially legal review of education laws and legislature;
· Experience in mainstreaming gender and equity concerns in education programs;
· Doctoral (PHD) or other equivalent degree from an internationally recognized university in law with an emphasis on education;
· Minimum of ten (10) years professional experience in legal business, including at least three years of work experience in one or more of the following fields: legal review of education related laws, drafting education legislature;
· Work experience in curriculum reform in other countriesin CEE/ CIS;
· Fluency in English language;
· Previous work experience with UNICEF and knowledge of UNICEF policies.
Consultancy fee is to be proposed by a potential individual or organization and agreed with UNICEF in line with UN rules and regulations.
30% advance payment to be paid upon signing of the contract and 70% at the end of the contract, after clearance of the final report by UNICEF/MOE
Procedures and logistics:
UNICEF is going to provide the background information, organize meetings and filed visits and provides comments on the drafts.
Interested individual should send:
a) A Project Proposal with detailed budget;
b) the organizational profile or individual resume;
c) in case of an institutional application, the resumes of each of the proposed team members;
d) references of previous relevant work;
in a sealed envelope /email to:
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
Dalga Plaza, 3rd floor
24 Neftchilar Avenue, AZ1095
or send the documents mentioned above electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org
All applications will be treated with strict confidentiality. UNICEF is an equal opportunity employer.
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 20 April 2012 18:00 hours GMT+4