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.
For every child, education:
Universal Primary Education (UPE) policy in the form of fee abolition has become popular in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Encouraged by the positive impact of the policy had on enrolment and retention of children, especially those coming from economically weaker households, Malawi introduced Free Primary Education Programme in 1994 which involved the abolition of tuition fees in all grades in the primary school. Following the introduction, the enrollment in the country jumped from 2 million in 1993/94 to 3 million in 2004. The enrollment continued to rise in subsequent years and in 2017 there were 5 million learners in primary schools. However, the impressive increase in enrolment was not matched by commensurate increase in the number of qualified teachers in schools. The pupil- teacher ratio, therefore, remained over 70:1 throughout the implementation of the FPE. In order to tackle the issue of declining quality of education, the Ministry of Education Science and Technology developed guidelines that outlined important thematic areas, and roles of stakeholders in the implementation of the FPE policy.
The FPE implementation guidelines were developed to ensure that implementation of the FPE policy is uniform across all primary schools. It was envisaged that the guidelines would guide practice to:
- Ensure all children regardless of their economic status have access to quality primary education.
- Provide standards and benchmarks for provision of free primary education to ensure uniformity of services.
- Expand the functional capacity of educational structures by involving communities and other stakeholders in the provision of education services.
- Provide education facilities which provide safe, relevant and supportive learning environment to all children.
The FPE guidelines were developed in 2008 and have been operational for over a decade. During these years the following policies were developed to address emerging issues in the sector – Policy Investment Framework (2000), Devolution guidelines (2008), Education Act (2013), National Education Policy (2013), National Education Standards (2015), National Inclusive Education Strategy (2017) and the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III (2017). There has not been a review and alignment of the FPE guidelines to the newly enacted policies and guidelines.
The purpose of the consultancy, therefore, is to review the Free Primary Education guidelines in line with current trends, policy documents developed in the education sector.
How can you make a difference?
The consultant will work in close consultation with the MoEST, as well as relevant inter-sectoral ministries, District Education Managers (DEM), Education Advisors (PEA), School Inspectors, Head Teachers and stakeholders in the education sector (NGOs, Development Partners), to review the guidelines of the Free Primary Education.
Specifically, the consultant will undertake the following activities:
- Prepare an inception report with a working methodology, data collection tools, informed by the TOR summarising how the consultant has understood the tasks and deliverables and how they propose to deliver on the consultancy and timeline.
- Conduct a desk review of FPE implementation guidelines. This will include review of key policy documents such as the Policy Investment Framework, National Education Policy, Decentralization policy, Education Act, National Education Standards, Primary School Improvement Programme guidelines, National Inclusive Education Strategy, Continuous Professional Development framework for teachers, Teacher Management Strategy, Norms and Standards of School Construction, School Health and Nutrition policy, National Girls Education Strategy, Decentralized Book Procurement guidelines, Teacher Code of Conduct and other policy documents and guidelines that have been developed to support the implementation of the Free Primary Education.
- Conduct an analysis of the FPE guidelines adherence to ascertain the challenges that may have limited the implementation of the FPE. Outline emerging issues from the school, zonal and district level in the implementation of the policy to ascertain gaps that exist in the FPE guidelines.
In consultation with the Education Sector stakeholders conduct a review of the FPE to ascertain the:
- Relevance of the identified Thematic areas. Suggest revisions in line with new approved policies and guidelines, Education Act and commitment in MGDS III and SDG 4.0 “ensure inclusive and equitable education and promote lifelong learning for all”
- Roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders in the provision of FPE in the wake of emerging policies and guidelines.
- Draw recommendations considering the findings of this review, socio- economic context, projected trends in quality and quantity of teachers and other relevant conditions for revision of the guidelines.
- Facilitate a consultative workshop to validate the findings and recommendations from various stakeholders and analyses of the FPE guidelines and implementation.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have:
- Advanced university degree, preferably PhD in Teacher education, education planning, development studies, Social Science or related field.
- At least 5 years of institutional experience working in education and policy level in education, preferably in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Familiarity with the Malawi education system, including excellent understanding of education planning and management practices.
- Demonstrated technical knowledge on government and development partner practices; experience in conducting participatory workshops and consensus-building meetings.
- Strong strategic, analytical and communication (spoken and written) skills in English.