Improving Quality of Basic Education (IQBE)

Terms of Reference

National Project Director (National Position)

Position Tittle

National Project Director (National)

Implementing Organization

FSM Department of Education

Location

Palikir, Pohnpei

Duration

36 months (June 2019 – June 2023)

Adviser Type

Long-term technical assistance (LTTA)

Tentative start-up date

June 2019

 

Project Backgrounds

Basic education outcomes are very low in the Pacific. Primary students are averaging only 30% of the benchmark in reading and 48% in mathematics, as measured by the Pacific Islands Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (PILNA) conducted across 14 countries in the Pacific. Results are particularly poor in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and are directly linked to several factors, most importantly low teacher quality. In FSM, 17.5% of teachers are underqualified without the minimally required 2-year associate’s degree. Low outcomes in student learning at the primary education level become magnified and more expensive to resolve at higher levels of education. Quality of education is deemed the most important issue for both countries, whereas access is not as critical an issue. It is therefore imperative to strengthen the foundations of learning so that more students can persist and succeed in their education careers.

The proposed project, Improving the Quality of Basic Education in the North Pacific (IQBE), will address factors to improve the conditions for learning in FSM. It will build on the successes and lessons learned under the Quality Primary Education in the North Pacific technical assistance[1] and will allow for a more comprehensive and sustained approach required for effective reforms within the sector.

Expected Outcome

The impact of the project will improve quality of education in the FSM. The project has focused into improved learning outcomes in literacy and numeracy skills. Project outputs are: (i) Primary school teachers better prepared; (ii) Capacity to use assessment to improve learning strengthened; (iii) Access and usage of teaching and learning resources and materials for literacy and numeracy expanded; and (iv) Educational leadership and management of schools, including parent/community engagement strengthened. The Project will allow for a more comprehensive and sustained approach required for effective reforms within the sector.

 

Intended Outputs

There are four specific outputs expected during the project period and they are:

Output 1: Teachers in primary education are better prepared.

1.1

New Professional Learning Framework developed.

1.2

Teachers trained on QPF focused on literacy and numeracy across the curriculum.

1.3

Improved alignment between Pre-service Teacher Education and In-service Teacher Education.

1.4

New System of Lead Teachers and Induction established.

1.5

Career pathways for teachers developed.

Output 2: Capacity to use student assessment to improve learning strengthened

2.1

New National Student Assessment Framework established.

2.2

Teachers trained on alternative assessments for learning.

Output 3: Access to and usage of teaching and learning resources and materials for literacy and numeracy expanded.

3.1

Access to teaching and learning resources increased.

3.2

Number and quality of resources increased.

3.3

Community/school partnerships in resource development increased.

3.4

Teacher/community workshops on newly developed resources and materials increased.

Output 4: Educational leadership and management of schools,

                 including parent and community engagement strengthened

4.1

Principal performance standards strengthened.

4.1

School leaders trained on educational leadership and management.

4.2

Parents as Partners Program established.

4.3

Number of school-based sustainable development projects increased.

 

 

Project Implementation Mechanism

There is a Project Steering Committee (PSC) that consist of the Directors from State Department of Education, and representatives from FSM Department of Finance, COM-FSM, and the Asian Development Bank. The PSC is chaired by the Secretary of Education. The chair of the PSC may appoint representatives of other relevant agencies as new PSC members as required. The PSC meets quarterly and be responsible for (i) approving the annual project budget and activity plan, (ii) reviewing and advising on implementation progress, and (iii) ensuring policy and other significant issues affecting implementation are dealt with promptly. The PSC will provide overall guidance and coordination for project implementation.

At the national level, there is a Project Implementation Unit (PIU) at the NDOE which will be led by the Project Director and supported by Procurement Specialist and Finance Specialist. The Project Director will report to the Secretary of Education on matters relating to ensuring efficient and effective implementation of the project to meet deadlines, targets, objectives, outputs, and outcomes as stated in an annual work plan and the Design and Monitoring Framework (DMF).

The PIU will work with relevant institutions and project initiatives that complement and supplement IQBE implementation, including COM-FSM National and State Campuses, consulting firms/indivduals, and schools. COM-FSM will be a project institution engaged by NDOE to implement project activities that will be described fully in a MOU/Contract between the NDOE and the institution itself.

All four states have designated IQBE PIUs consisting of (i) State project directors; (ii) technical coordinators; (iii) finance specialist; (iv) procurement specialist; and (v) administrative staff. The PIU will conduct the following task:

  • Carry out day to day implementation activities in specified areas/functions to support and facilitate project implementation by project institutions, teams or committees; 
  • Manage State-level specific project implementation activities, including finance and accounting, procurement, report preparation, project performance monitoring system, simplified environmental screening and management checklist, and preparation and submission of disbursement claims;
  • Prepare supporting State-level documents for replenishment of Imprest account, financial statements, and arrangement of the annual audit report in close consultation with State-level DOFA officials and submit to TDPM;
  • Monitor and report State-level Project progress and performance including midterm and project completion report; and
  • Ensure collection of sex-disaggregated data and training of project staff.
  • Perform other duties and tasks as may be assigned by the Secretary of Education National Project Director, State Project Director, or TDPM.

 

National Project Director

 

The national project director will be located within NDOE and will report to the Secretary of Education at NDOE. S/he will perform the following task:

  • Ensure overall effective communication, coordination and supervision of project activities under IQBE.  These rely on effective management, oversight, and regular communication with project institutions (COM-FSM), consulting firm/individuals, PIU staff in relation with the State Departments of Education and within FSM Government.
  • Monitoring progress of project activities against the targets set in an annual work plan and report progress including issues, if any to the Secretary of Education on a quarterly basis.
  • Supervising, monitoring, and assessing the performance, outputs, and outcomes of project institutions and consulting firms/individuals against their Terms of Reference.
  • Supervising, providing technical advice, and providing support and direction to the PIU staff as required.
  • Monitoring the performance of the Procurement Specialist, Finance Specialist and the Technical Coordinators at the national and state level  periodically and providing feedback, guidance, and recommendations to improve their performance and the PIU operations every six months.
  • Performing functions and duties as may be assigned that relate to the IQBE scope.
  • Communicating orally and in writing, and making presetnations as necessary for communications related to the IQBE project.

 

Qualifications:

Minimum of a Master’s degree in Education or higher preferred.  At least 10 years of working experience in education and complex project management. 

Skills, experience, knowledge

  • Excellent communication, coordination, and project management skills with preferable experience in complex project management.
  • Proven ability to working with multiple stakeholders such as the government, development partners, consulting firms/indivduals and tertiary institutions.
  • Excellent writing and verbal communications, and experience in writing quarterly/annual reports, implementation plans, and budgets.
  • Proven ability to plan, implement, monitor and supervise project activities. 
  • Previous work experience in the Pacific highly desirable.
  • Familiarity with ADB procurement guidelines and norms preferable.
  • Knowledge and experience of planning and budgeting – setting annual targets, deliverables, and budgeting.
  • Strong monitoring and supervision experience
  • Team work and capacity building expertise.

 

Deliverables

  1. Annual work plan including detailed budgeting and targets
  2. Monitoring, supervision and capacity development plan

 

Reporting requirements

  1. Monthly, quarterly and annual progress report including physical and financial progress.
  2. Periodic updates on project status as required.

 

Submit your letter of interest and curriculum vitae to marlynn.halbert@national.doe.fm or to the Asian Development Bank CMS no later than July 12, 2019.



[1] ADB. 2012. Technical Assistance for Quality Primary Education in the North Pacific. Manila.

 

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