Terms of Reference:
Early Childhood Education (ECE) Mid-Term Evaluation - International Consultant
Almost seventy percent (70%) of children from 3-5 years old have in Laos have no access to any form of early childhood education . With little or no preparation at all, children enter primary schools that use a curriculum that is known to have high demands on children and is taught in the national language. This lack of preparation of children is assumed to be one of the reasons for the resulting low learning outcomes among children in primary schools, especially in rural ethnic areas. Efforts have been going on in Laos to revise the primary level curriculum and to strengthen the approaches in teaching Lao language to non-Lao speaking children. But the issue of making early childhood education accessible to young children to support their development and build the foundations for learning remain a big gap in the system.
Save the Children plans to work with the Department for Early Childhood Education of the Government of Laos’ Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) to address this challenge on providing young children with access to early childhood education and provide more children with a head start in life.
In the past several years, the MOES has partnered with a number of development partners, including Save the Children, to develop and pilot modalities of delivering early childhood education. To be able to move towards increasing access, the ECE Department has to develop a strategy that the MOES will use countrywide to adequately support early learning and development among children 3-5 years old.
This partnership between Save the Children and MOES will focus on implementation of the modalities that the MOES has deemed most effective based on pilot experience, and adapting these to contexts where children belong to smaller ethnic groups are in remote rural areas, including areas with low population densities, Ready to School (RtS) Project: A Community Partnership in Early Childhood Education program has been implemented since January 2019 in Nambak and Phonthong districts in LuangPrabang Province, Laos. Over three and a half years, the RtS program will support the ECE Department, specifically 27 ECD learning centres and local officials and communities in the two target districts within LuangPrabang. The program will promote ECE for more children, so that they can have a head start in life.
Through the Ready to School Project, the ECE Department will be supported in working with target local officials and communities in LuangPrabang in setting up, adapting, and managing a combination of 3 programme models that are now running in pilot areas in the country.
1-The Pre-primary (PP) programme – a one-year education programme for 5-year-old children that aims to prepare them for Grade 1 classrooms by introducing them to the Lao language, reading, writing, and maths, as well as provide opportunities for socialisation. The classrooms are held for a full day, with 5-6 hours of structured learning activities. This programme was developed by the MOES with various development partners including Save the Children and UNICEF, and is the main ECE modality implemented by the government. This modality will be used in Nambak District in conjunction with CCDG.
2- The Community Child Development Group (CCDG) – an education programme for children 3-4 years old, focusing more on providing children with opportunities for play and socialisation. This modality is being piloted with support from the World Bank Global Partnership for Education project. This modality will be used in Nambak District in conjunction with PP.
3- Multi-Age Teaching classrooms (MAT) – similar to CCDG, this mode of delivering ECE was conceptualised to provide ECE opportunities to children in villages where there are low numbers of children. MAT classrooms target children ages 3 through 5. This modality will be used in Phonthong District.
Communities, through the Village Education Development Committees (VEDCs), will be engaged in planning the ECE programmes in their area and will be encouraged to contribute ECE venues tapping existing community spaces, as well as contribute time to supervise/manage the centres and provide volunteer teachers and community facilitators, with support.
Ready to School will strive to carefully study the various inputs necessary for setting up and maintaining these modalities of ECE and strive to identify and maintain levels that could potentially be sustained by the MOES and the communities. The MOES plans to conduct evaluations of these 3 modalities in the next year few years and the RTS can be part of these evaluations that will help the MOES in decision making.
The project will link with the global Ready to Learn Common Approach of SC to benefit from and contribute to global learning and technical support, with adaptations to the context in Laos.
Understanding that most mothers of these children are also very young, this ECE programme will integrate efforts to engage young mothers and provide opportunities for their own development as they participate in the education of their children.
The Goal of this project is: Vulnerable children, including girls, have improved readiness for primary education through participation in a quality early childhood education (ECE) program in enabling communities. Three program models: 1) the pre-primary program, 2) the community child development group, and 3) multi-age teaching classes, are managed and running in the targeted remote areas where children belong to ethnic groups. The project aims to achieve four outcomes as follow:
The mid-term evaluation will be conducted in order to review project progress and implementation of child development and learning outcomes as well as their learning environment at home in targeted districts of Nambak and Phonethong prior to the project activities.
Primary objectives of this mid-term evaluation are to:
Scope of the study
Mid-term evaluation will be conducted in 25 villages (one ECE learning centre per village) across those 2 districts (21 villages at Nambak and 4 villages at Phonthong district).
Methodology and Tools
In keeping the baseline methodology, the midline used a mixed-methods, repeated Cross-sectional study.
Two types of tool to be use, the first evaluated is the International Development and Early Learning Assessment (IDELA), which directly assesses developmental skills through a series of games with children, covering 4 core domains-emergent literacy, emergent numeracy, social-emotional development, gross and fine motor development. The second evaluated is the Home Environment evaluation which will be answered by the main caregivers of the children assessed by IDELA. The Home Environment survey will assess the family’s social, economic and demographic backgrounds as well as home learning environments for children.
A total of sample size approximately 300 children aged 3.5-6 years who have completed ECE curriculum (PP, CCDG and MAT) from current project intervention, and approximately 300 caregivers who have trained on ECE curriculum.
The mid-term evaluation has designed to hire external consultant to be support evaluation process, the specific role and responsible as follow:
-Review study designed (inception report)
-Review assessment tool
-Data review (monitoring data and primary data)
-Produce preliminary finding
-Complete evaluation report
-Provide PPT for the key finding both English
-Submit package of final draft report.
-Adapted version of IDELA administrative guide and stimulus cards
-Adapted Home Environment assessment tool
-Primary data from 25 schools and their caregivers
-Quality of midterm evaluation report
-Key finding and recommendation (English and Lao)
-Advanced degree in education, Development or another relevant field
-Extensive experience in conducting evaluations with early childhood education programs. Previous work
-Demonstrated knowledge of using IDELA tool
-Strong quantitative analytical and writing skills (in English)
-Flexibility to make adjustments and changes when necessary
Management of consultancy
Somxay Inthasone Head of Education Sector
We propose consultant to carry out the project evaluation over a period of 16 days, while the specific dates of implementation depend on the availability of the team members and consultant consultation.
|No||Date and Time||Main activities / Tasks||Responsibilities||Supported by||# of days for consultant|
|1||5th -6th Oct, 2020||Review inception report/IDELA tools/materials and provide feedback to RTS team||External consultant||PM||02|
|2||14th -15th Oct, 2020||Consultant review monitoring data and pre-analysis||External consultant||RTS team||02|
|3||16th – 19th Nov, 2020||Data analysis||External consultant||PM, Team and Noy||04|
|4||23rd Nov, 2020||Share preliminary finding to RTS team||External consultant||PM, Team and Noy||01|
|5||23rd -26th Nov, 2020||Produce midterm report and share to RTS project||External consultant||04|
|6||30th Nov, 2020||Revise report per feedback/comment from RTS/SCHK||External consultant||01|
|7||1st Dec, 2020||Provide PPT key finding and recommendation (English & Lao) to RTS team||External consultant||01|
|8||3rd Dec, 2020||Share final package of midterm report to RTS team||External consultant||01|
|Total of working days||16 days|
Interested candidates please submit full application and a copy your ID card/passport to firstname.lastname@example.org (specify the position ‘Early Childhood Education (ECE) Mid-Term Evaluation Consultant’ you apply to).
Closing date is 24 Sep 2020. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
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