Organization: UN Children’s Fund
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Creating a holistic preschool and school environment that optimises the ability of students to learn is important while designing or restructuring any learning environment – the diverse physical (related to the infrastructure), cognitive (related to the content of teaching-learning process), social (the context where it is situated) and the institutional (the administrative system that controls and manages it) contexts and cultures in which children learn. Each of these components, which are integral to preschools/schools are often conceived in isolation, with little consideration about what children’s holistic learning experience. While there is no single optimum learning environment, there isan infinite number of possible learning environments that could be created to make teaching and learning processes more interesting and productive. The research under the Holistic Evidence and Design (HEAD) project, University of Salford, Manchester reveals that differences in the physical characteristics of classrooms can increase the learning progress of primary school students by as much as 16 percent in a single year.
Many preschool and school buildings and compounds in Uzbekistan, just like in many other countries, even though fulfil the basic needs to shelter and house the activities of ECCE / basic education and might comply with the State Standards on physical structure and environment set out by the Government of Uzbekistan, they may not embody an inviting, active, fun-filled, creative and stimulating learning environment. The built structures often remain uni-functional and do not contribute actively for learning, or the four pillars of learning – learning to know, learning to do, learning to live together or learning to be. It is important to redefine the currently rigid built structure and physical environment as a potential resource to create learning-teaching aids in the three-dimensional spaces which allows multiple sensory perceptions in a creative and innovative way.
Anecdotal evidences and the analysis by the Ministries of Preschool Education (MOPSE) and Public Education (MOPE) reveal that many of the existing preschool and school buildings are in need of repair and expansion. In addition, the teaching-learning materials (TLM) available in preschools/schools may not always be used effectively. Due to lack of space to display or available time or fear of loss, teachers tend to keep them safely locked in cupboards, away from children, or may give them only for short duration. Often, the number of children may outnumber the TLM available. For children who come from socio-economically marginalized groups, the environment at home may not be stimulating enough for varied learning and the physical environment at preschools /schools may thus become the only specialised space that has the possibility to compensate for this shortcoming. The solution to create enhanced learning environment may also be combined effectively building in learning enabling elements. The built environment can very comprehensively contribute in the physical, intellectual, social and emotional development of children in preschools/schools. This potential has, so far, remained largely untapped. This offers a unique possibility to transform the insensitive physical environment to a totally child friendly one.
The Ministry of Preschool Education (MOPSE) was created by the Government of Uzbekistan in September 2018 with a view to provide concentrated attention and efforts to improve equitable access to quality preschool education in the country. MOPSE has been exploring major avenues to expand access to quality preschool education in an equitable manner and to ensure that all children in the 6-7 years’ age group have benefited from at least one year mandatory preschool education by 2020. At present, only 31 percent of the young children in the age group of 3-6 years are attending preschool education in the country. MOPSE is planning to achieve the expansion goals through not only investing government’s own resources, but also by encouraging public-private partnerships (PPP) in preschool provision. At general secondary education level, while the country has achieved near-universal enrolments, quality of education is unknown. While further expansion of school spaces may not be necessary for general secondary education, creating an environment for enhancing the quality of learning is equally a priority for MOPE.
UNICEF Uzbekistan has been supporting the Government of Uzbekistan to achieve quality education for all. UNICEF has been complementing the Government of Uzbekistan’s efforts to improve the ECCE services and general secondary education through providing technical support to enhance systemic improvements and for policy reforms. UNICEF and the Government of Uzbekistan have agreed to develop alternative and innovative models of providing ECE in the country.
In the current scenario, there is a need to address infrastructure needs of MOPE and MOPSE at two levels: (a) making existing preschools / kindergartens and schools more child-centric and learning oriented; (b) developing designs for new preschools /kindergartens that are child-development appropriate and learning centric. The purpose of the assignment is to develop prototypes for adapting existing preschools and schools with innovative, child-friendly learning environments in a consultative manner, keeping in view the budgetary provisions of the government and possibilities for attracting public-private partnerships. The design(s) needs to be developed keeping in mind the child friendly parameters (UNICEF’s child friendly school concepts; effective pre-school learning, child friendly WASH facilities etc.) as well as enhanced scope for community involvement. The specific objectives of the assignment are:
- To review and map the diversity of preschool and school infrastructure facilities and situations in Uzbekistan in consultation with various stakeholders and develop key recommendations for adaptations, augmentation/creation of child friendly elements while repair and reconstruction;
- To create and demonstrate a menu of ideas for improving the quality of existing preschool and school infrastructure in Uzbekistan, especially the child-centric learning environment, covering diverse scenarios/situations;
- To develop new designs for demonstration of model preschool infrastructure across the country, catering to different situations; and
- To develop capacity of MOPSE/MOPE personnel associated with preschool /school designing, maintenance, repair and rebuilding to scale up the intervention to a range of preschools and schools.
Timeline & Deliverables:
The deliverables are expected to be prepared within 60 working days during the period of 1 November, 2018 – 30 April 2019.
1. Inception visit to Uzbekistan – Introductory Presentation materials.Inception report – 10 days
- Workshop to discuss existing school construction design / planning with MOPSE and MOPE experts
- Presentation of international experiences in designing new and redesigning existing school/preschool spaces to more learning-enabling spaces
- Field visits (preschools and schools in Tashkent city and in rural areas)
2. Presentation of innovative learning spaces ideas and experiences from other countries at a one day conference in Tashkent – Presentation for the Workshop and other materials – 2 days
3.Mapping the diversity of school and preschool infrastructure facilities in rural and urban Uzbekistan based on (a) review of buildings standards and other documents; and (b) visit to schools and preschools in urban and rural areas of Uzbekistan.Based on mapping of data, outcome of visioning workshop and design template, development of key recommendations for repair, adaptation and augmentation / creation of basic amenities towards development of Child Friendly schools/preschools integrating innovative learning spaces – Report with analysis that will enable a systematic and focused understanding of various potentials and limitations of the school/ preschool infrastructure in Uzbekistan and comprehensive recommendations for addressing design issues in schools/preschools – 15 days
4. Workshops with MOPE/MOPSE Working Group of experts for design review and development, repairing, adaptation of existing preschools and schools: development of workshop content; Sharing the design review with working group; Sharing key recommendations for repair, adaptation and augmentation / creation of basic amenities in existing preschools/schools; Supporting Working Group towards estimating the costs, integration into ongoing system for approval and sanction and dissemination to use new reviewed design across the State – Outline of workshop design, presentations and handouts – 10 days
5. Finalization of three prototypes of innovative learning spaces based on the workshops and discussions – Draft Report with all key findings, recommendations and 3 prototypes of school / preschool designs on innovative learning spaces – 15 days
6. Final Report to be presented in a workshop and training of MOPE/MOPSE experts in implementing the designs -Workshop training materials.Final Evaluation Report – 8 days
In order to make school/preschool designs effective in enabling child development and learning-centred, the design of new preschool buildings or re-design of existing school/preschool spaces must meet the following criteria:
- The designs should be evolved out of a holistic vision of MOPE /MOPSE;
- Making the designs context specific: addressing the needs of children, child-development and learning, communities â€“ parents and mothers, preschool staff, managers, etc. and suitable to the climate, availability of building materials, skills, etc.
- Developing designs as prototypical – A uniform design across the country or region may not be suitable since it may not be able to accommodate the diversity of needs and context. The prototypical design is adaptable to variation and diversity of context. It will be useful to make at least three prototypes at different locations covering diversity of situation and contexts.
- The designs must be equipped suitably in detailing of the entire environment for child-development in its various domains â€“ physical, cognitive, emotional and social. For this, the consultant is expected to undertake field visits contextualize ideas developed for adapting and enhancing existing preschool/school buildings
The International Consultant will work under the direct supervision of the Chief of Education Section and in consultation with identified national partners and government officials.
Resource requirements and payment:
According to UNICEF policy, the final fees will be set up based on the “best value for money” principle. 60 working days are allocated for accomplishment of all tasks and deliverables within the period of November 2018 – April 2019.
The candidates are requested to submit their financial offer consisting of fee for the services to be provided. Travel costs (including airfare, terminal expenses, and daily subsistence allowance) will be calculated and paid according to UNICEF rules and regulations, as applicable. All direct payments will be made by bank transfer to the indicated bank account by Consultant. Barrett, P. Y. Zhang, F. Davies and L. Barrett. 2015, “The impact of classroom design on pupil’s learning: Final results of a holistic, multi-level analysis”. Building and Environment; 89 (2015) 118-133.  UNESCO. 1996. Learning: The Treasure With-in, Report to UNESCO of the International Commission on Education for the Twenty First Century, The four pillars of education, Pages 85 -97.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- Advanced university degree (Masters or PhD) in architecture or civil engineering
- Understanding of, and experience in preschool/ school building designing
- Experience in research or analysis related to child-friendly designs in preschools / school
- Good analytical and report writing skills
Procedures and Working Conditions
UNICEF will reserve copy right of all developed materials and own primary data collected through this assignment. The materials cannot be published or disseminated without prior written permission of UNICEF. UNICEF will be free to adapt and modify materials produced at any time.
The consultant must clearly identify any potential ethical issues arising from the fulfilment of her/his tasks and duties in the framework of this assignment and ensure that s/he performs the assignment in a manner that does not expose UNICEF to any such risks.
Consultant is expected to work independently and respond to feedback from supervisor in a timely and professional manner, to be result driven, and to have the ability to work under pressure and meet required deadlines.
UNICEF undertakes no liability for taxes, duty or other contribution payable by the consultant on payments made under this contract.
UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if deliverable(s) incomplete, not finalized or for failure to meet deadlines. UNICEF will reserve copy right of all developed materials and own primary data collected through this assignment. The materials cannot be published or disseminated without prior written permission of UNICEF. UNICEF will be free to adapt and modify them in the future. The contractor must respect the confidentiality of the information handled during the assignment. Documents and information provided must be used only for the tasks related to these terms of reference.
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
The competencies required for this post are….
View our competency framework at
UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.
UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.
Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization. To apply, click on the following link http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/?job=517159