Call for Expert Consultancy: supporting education stakeholders in Rwanda in the application of digital solutions in inclusive and special needs education

Inclusive class in Cyprus (MRU)
UNESCO IITE is seeking an individual expert consultant to carry out on-the-ground sensitization and information activities in Rwanda to enhance the capacity of key stakeholders in the field of technology-supported inclusive/special needs education.

The key objective of the project ‘Integrating Artificial Intelligence and Digital Innovations to strengthen Inclusion and Equity of Education in Africa’, implemented jointly by the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) and the Chengdu Culture and Tourism Development Group LLC (China), is to unleash the potential of AI and digital innovations to support inclusion and equitable access to quality education, social involvement, and intercommunication for persons with disabilities and special learning needs. The initiative is encouraged by UNESCO’s Priority Africa, the inclusion objectives of the Education 2030 agenda and the holistic SDG 4.  The inclusion-driven project facilitates capacity development of the African youth, particularly the most vulnerable and fragile communities, through adequate learning and appropriate training.

The current participatory phase of the project advancement in Rwanda encompasses knowledge dissemination and communication of best practices among concerned education stakeholders.
UNESCO IITE is currently seeking an individual expert consultant to contribute meaningful insights and share expertise related to the beneficial technology-enhanced education and socialization of persons with disabilities and special learning needs.

The Individual Consultant should demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by students with disabilities and special learning needs, their teachers and school communities, parents and caregivers. The Individual Consultant is expected to be highly knowledgeable about the capacity of technology solutions, including assistive tools, advanced ICT/AI and digital pedagogy to address existing and emerging issues. S/he will reference substantiated real-world examples showcasing the benefits of digital solutions in the education and socialization of persons with disabilities and special learning needs. Furthermore, the Individual Consultant will present country-relevant and viable recommendations for establishing sustainable technology-supported teaching and learning methods within the context of disability-sensitive and SEN-recognizing education.

  • WORK STAGES AND SUBMISSION DATES

    Specifically, the Expert Consultant shall:

    1. Perform a rapid desk review of the reports, action plans, recommendations and research findings for Rwanda consolidated by UNESCO IITE within 2020-2022.
    2. Familiarize him/herself with the results of the Collection of Best Global Practices finalized by UNESCO IITE in January 2024.
    3. Prepare for and carry out face-to-face capacity-building sessions with education stakeholders in Rwanda:
      • Hold an information and sensitization (knowledge and ideas exchange) meeting with education policy-makers and duty-bearers in the Republic of Rwanda (one-day session). The live event will summon stakeholders whose professional practice and responsibilities are associated with inclusive and/or special needs education. During the onsite meeting, the Expert will facilitate discussions among participants regarding the current landscape, primary obstacles concerning the integration of ICT in inclusive/special needs education in Rwanda, and strategies for surmounting these challenges. In addition, the Expert will share the most salient best global practices from the IITE’s recently concluded collection and beyond. S/he will make pointed reference to the developed recommendations for establishing a sustainable ICT architecture for relevant resource centers. The meeting will be organized by UNESCO IITE with the support of the Rwanda National Commission for UNESCO (RNCU) and the Rwanda Ministry of Education (MINEDUC).
      • Conduct a one-day practice-oriented training session in Rwanda. During the training, the Expert will vividly and comprehensibly introduce examples of the effective and beneficial use of assistive technology (AT) and digital solutions, including Artificial Intelligence, for education and socialization of individuals with diverse health conditions and special learning needs. These examples should be drawn from the Expert’s relevant personal experience and be broadly applicable across different countries and education systems.
    The onsite capacity-building meeting and training session to be held in Rwanda in April – May 2024.

     

    1. Submit to UNESCO IITE a final report (2-3 pages, in English), including specifications of the conducted activities and delivered commitments, related remarks and expert observations, relevant conclusions and detailed application guidelines for various groups of concerned stakeholders. The final report to be submitted to UNESCO IITE before June 10, 2024.

  • CANDIDATE SPECIFICATION

    The prospective candidates should

    • hold at least a master’s degree in education or social sciences,
    • have relevant experience in inclusive/special needs education and the use of technologies, including AT, advanced ICT and AI tools for education and socialization of vulnerable populations, particularly learners with different types of disabilities.
    • be fluent in English and proficient in constructive communication.
    Interested qualified candidates are encouraged to submit their applications (in English) by e-mail to: e.varkvasova@unesco.org before 23 March 2024.

    The official application shall include:

    1. Candidate’s latest Curriculum Vitae.
    2. A statement indicating how the candidate’s qualifications and experience make him/her suitable for the assignment.
    3. An indication of the approach the candidate would adopt to carry out the assignment, including any inputs that may be required from UNESCO IITE.
    4. Proposed detailed budget (in USD).