Curriculum Expert

UN Children's Fund, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Skill Required:, Education Management
Preferred Experience: 
2 years of relevant work experience
Closing Date for Applications: 
14th February, 2019

Job Description

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.


Various measures confirm that educational access does not always equate to learning as expected for many children in Bangladesh. As per National Student Assessment (NSA) reports, many children are not achieving the basic skills of reading, writing and numeracy. Enhancing learning outcomes thus represents the greatest challenge of primary education in Bangladesh, and requires targeted attention.

The design of the current subsector programme PEDP4 aims to combat the situation with a specific objective and dedicated component on Quality. The corresponding objective of the 5-year programme is to ‘Enhance the quality of teaching-learning practice being applied in all schools that enable children to acquire the essential grade-level competencies stipulated in the curriculum’. Accordingly, it takes a comprehensive approach to quality improvement by putting resources to strengthen the curriculum, textbooks, learning process, assessment and other essential elements of educational quality. The Subcomponent 1.1 Curriculum aims to harmonize and strengthen the pre-primary and primary curricula with the following targets:

  • Effectiveness analysis of existing pre-primary and primary curriculum;
  • Situation analysis and need assessment;
  • Revision of pre-primary and primary curriculum;
  • Printing of revised curriculum of pre-primary & primary in Bangla & English;
  • Revision of school and classroom based assessment methods and tools (12 subjects) and printing;
  • Develop training materials for curriculum dissemination;
  • Curriculum dissemination training for all education personnel.

The effectiveness analysis of the curriculum is currently ongoing, and preliminary findings will be available by February 2019. Based on the findings, the revision will take place including revision of the curriculum, textbooks, teaching-learning materials (TLM), and the classroom teaching and assessment practices. A massive dissemination exercise will follow to ensure that all teachers, teacher educators and officials performing monitoring and academic supervision duties are properly oriented on the changed philosophy and curricular arrangement, and that the newly revised curriculum benefits all Bangladeshi pre-primary and primary school-age children.

The revision work will build upon the processes began under PEDP3, including piloting of the Each Child Learns (ECL) initiative fostering interactive learning through differentiated instruction, the Diploma in Primary Education (DPEd) for improving teacher education, and the School and Classroom Based Assessment (SCBA) to strengthen continuous assessment in schools and classrooms as part of efforts to tackle some of the issues and increase the teaching-learning quality.

Purpose of Assignment

Within this backdrop, an International Curriculum Expert is expected to be onboard to provide overall guidance and direction for this massive curriculum revision exercise, based on which subject experts will lead the revision of the subject and grade specific curriculum, textbooks, TLM and assessment procedures. The consultant will work closely with the Primary Curriculum Wing of National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB)[1], and other key actors, i.e. the Directorate of Primary Education (DPE)[2] and the National Academy for Primary Education (NAPE)[3]. As stipulated in the PEDP4 Programme Document, the curriculum will be revised, considering the evaluation findings, a review of curricula from other countries and the following points:

  • National and international initiatives and commitments;
  • The underlying theoretical framework informing the revision will remain ‘constructivist’;
  • A results-based approach, based on scientific evidence;
  • A clear and effectual linkage and gradual progression at each grade level will be maintained, keeping in mind the relevant terminal competencies and the need for horizontal integration across subjects;
  • The different stages of the learners’ cognitive development;
  • The findings of the NSA 2015 and 2017; and,
  • The rapid growth of ICT.

In addition to the above, the consultant should also take note of the findings of the 2 ongoing studies (curriculum effectiveness study, and the needs assessment and situation analysis study); the operational realities of schools where curriculum is implemented; and the cross-cutting issues of 21st century skills, gender, inclusion, climate change, and other emerging issues. Also, to be noted is the key human resource capacity gaps within and beyond NCTB tasked with curriculum and teaching-learning materials development and revision.

The consultant is expected to review relevant policies, research and programmatic documents; hold consultations with different relevant stakeholders (NCTB curriculum experts, policy decision makers, civil society representatives, teachers and students); and observe classrooms to obtain inputs in understanding various perspectives and expectations from the national pre-primary and primary curricula; identify/understand key gaps in the current practices; and suggest directions for the revision and delivery of the curriculum. The guidelines for the revision should be theoretically grounded and informed by pragmatic lessons from the most recent developments in the field of curriculum, teaching-learning and assessment practices. The process should be designed and implemented with an orientation towards organizational development for the host organization, NCTB.

The major responsibilities of the of the consultant are:

Review phase

  • Undertake a succinct analysis of the global trends and contemporary developments in the areas of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment aligning with the emerging global development trends and the Bangladeshi context;
  • Review the current pre-primary and primary curricula of Bangladesh and the traditional approach to curriculum development including content, format, sequencing and progression, process and identify design gaps; and,
  • Assess the current approach to curriculum implementation by analyzing available information on student achievement, and school and system level performance indicators, and identify practice-level gaps.
  • All stages of the review and preparatory phase should attend to issues of gender, equity, disability and other factors critical to effective curriculum development and delivery and student learning.

Design phase

  • Suggest a Conceptual Framework and Roadmap for curriculum revision covering both content and process;
  • Design and lead a process of consultations, including but not limited to focus groups and interviews, with stakeholders (Parents, Teachers, Administrators, civil society and employers among others), to garner views and ensure proposed curriculum align with the social, cultural and economic development needs of Bangladesh;
  • Suggest a Curriculum Framework including the general objectives, identification of key expected terminal competencies, including skills, identification of learning areas and their weightage;
  • Suggest broad guidelines for the revision of language, social studies, mathematics, and science curriculum to develop the subject objective, and competencies/learning outcomes;
  • Recommend an appropriate assessment strategy, building on but not limited to existing practices, to be used across the curriculum and per subject which reflects the most effective approaches to assessment of, as and for learning; and,
  • Provide guidelines for subject experts to use in ensuring horizontal and vertical integration of learning objectives, competencies, content areas, pedagogical approaches and assessment.

Capacity building phase

  • Conduct a rapid capacity gap assessment of the critical institutions (DPE, NAPE and NCTB) involved in the curriculum reform process and propose a plan for capacity building;
  • Develop and integrate into the entire process activities to strengthen the capacity of officials of NCTB, DPE and NAPE to build institutional capacity to complete the curriculum revision with due emphasis;
  • Suggest strategies and guideline for revision and subsequent implementation of the curriculum to ensure learning.
  • In carrying out the work, the consultant will ensure that a participatory and developmental approach will be employed, so that in addition to the earmarked capacity building activities, the consultancy itself serves as a capacity development process for NCTB officials. This will require NCTB officials closely working with the consultant throughout the process.
  • Specialized entity under Ministry of Education (MoE) accountable for curriculum, textbooks and teaching-learning materials development and revision.
  • Tasked with prime responsibilities for coordinating and implementing primary education development activities including PEDP4.
  • Responsible for revising and developing teacher training curriculum and materials.

Deliverables Description:

  • Inception report detailing the proposed approach to achieving the planned objectives and tasks set out above. Report should include:
  • Proposed methodology and approach to the work;
  • Description of critical processes and methods;
  • Support required;
  • Assessment of risks and proposed required support (from UNICEF and partners);
  • Detailed work plan.

Report on status of curriculum reform globally and draft conceptual framework and road map for Bangladesh. Report should include:

  • Analysis of the global trends and contemporary developments in the areas of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment aligning with the emerging global socioeconomic trends;
  • Review of the current pre-primary and primary curricula of Bangladesh
  • Assessment of curriculum implementation issues by analyzing available information on student achievement, school and system level performance indicators, and identify practice-level gaps.

Curriculum tools and guidelines: work closely with the NCTB on the following and ensuring they are reflected in the revision process:

  • Finalise Conceptual Framework and Roadmap for curriculum revision;
  • Reflect stakeholder inputs in the revision process;
  • Develop curriculum framework including the general objectives, terminal competencies, learning areas, their weightage and other agreed content;
  • Develop guidelines for the revision of subject curriculum with objective, competencies and learning outcomes;
  • Guidelines for subject experts to ensure vertical and horizontal integration of subject objectives and competencies with content; and,
  • Assessment strategy and framework.

Report on capacity development including finding from rapid capacity gap analysis and capacity building activities conducted.

Final Report entailing:

  • Report on capacity building of NCTB, DPE and NAPE officials to lead the revision process;
  • Dissemination strategy for the revised curriculum, and;
  • Final versions of all deliverables

Final Deliverables:

  • Inception Report
  • Report on curriculum reform and draft framework
  • Report on curriculum tools and guidelines
  • Capacity building report
  • Final comprehensive report reflecting final versions of all deliverables

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have:

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in Education or any other social science subject relevant to education.
  • A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.
  • Proven and verifiable professional expertise in curriculum and materials development, review, research and evaluation;
  • 15 years of relevant work experience in designing curriculum and teaching and learning materials, teacher training programmes, and planning and implementing complex education reform;
  • Strong analytical and advocacy skills;
  • Experience in classroom teaching is an advantage;
  • Experience working with UN or donor agencies;
  • Experience working in Bangladesh or other South Asian countries is an asset;
  • Ability to develop and utilize approaches that are developmental for the host institution;
  • Excellent spoken and written English language skills required; and,
  • Familiarity with Bengali is an asset.

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.


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