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The consultancy to mentor trainers of short-term school readiness classes in 106 preschools in Baku (Khatai), Lankaran, Guba, Shamakha, Goygol and Fizuli districts within component 4 on School Readiness of the 2nd Education Sector Development Project.

Background and Context:

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 overall objective of component 4 within Second Education Sector Development Project is to provide access to preschool and increase the school readiness of children between 5 and 6 years of age, targeting low income rayons and vulnerable communities. This piloting will take place in 6 rayons (Lankaran, Guba, Shamakhi, Khatai District of Baku, Fuzuli and Goygol have been selected). The participating rayons have been chosen based on the following criteria: availability of preschools, preschool enrollment and attendance rates, existence of newly constructed or rehabilitated school buildings and available classrooms in these or other schools, and balance between urban and rural areas. 

The project will support an initiative that drastically differs from the old Soviet-type daycare services. The pilot project methodology will be based on a comprehensive school readiness program that introduces child-centered, individualized teaching, and supports community and family involvement in preschools. The new methodology will encourage the 5-6-year olds to make choices, take responsibility for their decisions, express their ideas creatively, work in groups, and practice independent thinking, the skills that are crucial for their further success in general education.

The model developed by UNICEF in March 2009 will be introduced on a 5-day per week basis with half-day programs offered in two shifts a day. Such measure will significantly increase the number of beneficiaries. Currently there is a lack of preschool curriculum that can be used in order to meet the requirements that would help the students to develop the skills discussed above.  In this regard, a provisional curriculum, which will be adapted from the experience of similar states will be adapted and used until the new curriculum will be developed and implemented in two years or so.

The preschool sections in the pilot schools will be managed and taught by mostly the preschool teachers and some other teachers in these schools depending on their educational background, major and the age groups they work with. In any case, both the general secondary education instructors and kindergarten caregivers will be intensively trained on working with the interim and new curricula, and dealing with the new preschool cohorts. UNICEF will support the MOE in training the core group of trainers that will further train the next generation of teachers who will work with the school readiness groups. Given the time limitations of some teachers and linguistic issues in some parts of the country, there is a possibility that some parents and community members might be involved as the teaching assistants to facilitate the process. They would serve as volunteers and receive some basic training. In addition to the trainings and new high quality teaching materials, the institutions would also receive some other resources, such as furniture, equipment and modern teaching and learning materials.

Objective of the consultancy
• The half-day school readiness module will contribute to the Second Education Reform Project funded by World Bank and aimed at fulfilling UNICEF commitments to complete component 4 of the project.
• The consultancy will support the creation of half-day preschool sections (5 year-old classes) mostly in the low-income pilot districts of the WB project and offer alternative preschool education to improve low demand for preschool education.

Purpose of the assignment
Under the supervision of the UNICEF Azerbaijan Office and in consultation with Ministry of Education and World Bank to mentor 106 preschool teachers to implement short-term school readiness training programme in 6 pilot districts.

Duty station: Azerbaijan (Baku, Shamakha, Goygol, Lankaran, Guba, Fuzuli)

Supervisor:  Kenan Mammadli, Development Officer

Major tasks to be accomplished:
• Based on the UNICEF’s School Readiness half-day program, to prepare  and submit schedule of mentorship visits to each 106 preschool in 6 pilot districts prior to implementation of work
• Mentor each trainer (total 106 trainers), observe classes and provide recommendations on the improvement.
• Demonstrate the right use of methodological and training materials provided by UNICEF to the classes
• Monitor and evaluate the implementation of the programme, performance of trainers and submit monthly reports no later than 5th working day of the next months. Reports should include evaluation of teacher motivation, availability of resources and administration capacity of each pilot preschool.
• To provide recommendations on the further interventions to improve the school readiness education to improve the level of school readiness among children from the pilot districts to Ministry of Education and UNICEF

Outcomes and deliverables:

5 April 2010  - Detailed schedule of mentorship visits submitted to UNICEF Azerbaijan

5 May 2010 – Report for April submitted to UNICEF Azerbaijan
5 June 2010 – Report for May submitted to UNICEF Azerbaijan
5 July 2010 – Report for June submitted to UNICEF Azerbaijan
5 August 2010 – Final 4-month Report including report for July submitted to UNICEF Azerbaijan

(in the event of extension)
5 October 2010 – Report for September submitted to UNICEF Azerbaijan
5 November 2010 – Report for October submitted to UNICEF Azerbaijan
20 December 2010  - Final Report together with report for November submitted to UNICEF Azerbaijan


5 April - 31 July 2010 with possible extension until 20 December 2010 upon satisfactory performance

Qualifications or specialized knowledge/experience required:

The consultant should have:
• An advanced degree in education or a related field
• Excellent proven training skills
• Experience in the development of methodological materials,
• Experience in mainstreaming gender and equity concerns in education programs,
• Experience in textbooks development as well as practical experience in using child-centered methodologies in Early Childhood Development.
• Excellent Azerbaijani communication, writing and analytical skills;

Estimated cost:

Consultancy fee is to be proposed by a potential individual and agreed with UNICEF in line with UN rules and regulations.

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 cover letter;
b) individual resume;
c) reference of previous relevant work (if applicable);

in a sealed envelope or email to:

Kenan Mammadli, Development Officer
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
24 S. Dadashov St., AZ1073
Baku, Azerbaijan

or send the documents mentioned above electronically  to

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: 23 March 2010, 15:00hrs GMT+4

For further information please contact: Kenan Mammadli,




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