Consultancy Title: Curricula, Accreditation and Certification in the five host countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt

from UN Children's Fund
Closing date: 26 Jun 2019


Duration: Five months


Off-site working days: 30 working days (remotely)

Field Missions/Travel: 5 days (to attend ministerial meeting)

Estimated Start Date: 1st July 2019

Estimated end Date: 1st December 2019


Within the Syria crisis education response, the present Terms of References (TOR) for proposals by expert consultants aim at guiding a rapid mapping of what education, curriculum, accreditation and certification systems exist in the five host countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. This mapping represents a follow up to the recommendations of the No Lost Generation (NLG) post-Brussels meeting in April 2019 and it is conducted within the framework of the Regional Refugee Response Plan (3RP) and the NLG framework. The rapid mapping will give a snapshot of what programmes children and youth from Syria have access to and will look at these with the specific lens of better understanding how these programmes are certified at the different levels and their recognition, nationally, internationally and in Syria in particular. Findings from the rapid mapping will form the basis for a technical discussion organized under the auspices of the 3RP and with leadership from the NLG education technical co-leads UNICEF and UNHCR. The technical discussion will be at ministerial level on issues of education documentation, certification and recognition in Syria for those Syrian students (and teachers) who (want to) return.

Since the start of the Syrian crisis in 2011, refugee children and youth from Syria have been allowed to enroll in public schools in the host countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. School facilities have been set up in all camps hosting Syrian refugees in Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, and thousands of Syrian children were enrolled at different levels of the school system. As of December 2018, there were over 1.3 million Syrian children enrolled in formal and non-formal education opportunities in the five host countries.

Since the beginning of the crisis, the education response has focused on strengthening national systems to include and cater for refugee children and youth through formal and regulated non-formal education.

As a result, 9 out of 10 children in learning are enrolled in the formal education system. In most cases, the national curriculum of the respective country is used in schools hosting Syrian refugee children. Teachers working in these schools are generally nationals of the respective countries. Syrian teachers are often used as volunteer teachers or assistant teachers. There are other examples, though: in Turkey, the Ministry of National Education had agreed to the use of a modified version of the Syrian curriculum and the mobilization of Syrian volunteer teachers to teach in the camp schools and in the Temporary Education Centres (TECs). However, since 2018, TECs are being phased out and Syrian children have been integrating into Turkish public schools, with Syrian volunteer teachers supporting the integration of refugee children.

In addition, non-formal (regulated/certified) education programmes to cater for the specific needs of vulnerable (Syrian) children have been established in all the five host countries, although the number of children and youth reached by these has remained limited.

Certification of learning and recognition of learning have been a theme high on the Syria crisis education response agenda throughout the crisis, in order to ensure that future pathways for Syrian children to further learning and access to the labour market are not closed off due to lack of recognition of their learning.

Currently, with the changing scenarios inside Syria, the issue of education certification and recognition is becoming more prominent, as families, on a voluntary basis, are returning to Syria.

During the recent No Lost Generation (NLG) partners consultation in April 2019 in Amman it was agreed that more information would be needed on certification provided in host countries and recognition of this in Syria, on available legal frameworks and possible pre-existing agreements between countries as well as clarity on what documentation would be required for children and youth to access the formal school system at different entry levels, when returning to Syria. This would also include recognition of learning and certification for Syrian teachers returning from those countries where they have been allowed to teach and train.


Within the framework of the NLG and 3RP education coordination, the Education Section of the UNICEF’s Regional Office in Amman (Jordan) would like to commission a rapid review to better understand what education programmes and curricula (formal and non-formal) are available in the five host countries, how they are assessed, accredited and certified at the different exit levels, what are the financial accreditation implications and where differences may exist in terms of recognition. Together with the study on ‘Curricula, Accreditation and Certification for Education Programmes inside Syria’, and the ‘Guidance Note on Documents Requested for School Enrollment and National Exams in the Syrian Arab Republic’ prepared by NRC and UNHCR, this rapid review will provide background information and distill key issues to initiate technical discussions between ministries of education in the host countries and the Ministry of Education in Damascus, Syria on the recognition of qualification (certificates, degrees and diplomas) obtained by refugees in exile to ensure continuity of their education and training upon return (if and when conditions are conducive).


The rapid review will include:

  • A desk research;
  • Interviews (though Skype or phone calls) with key informants in the five host countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.
  • The desk review will help identify and systematize existing information as well as gaps to be further investigated/verified through interviews with key informants. As a preliminary indication, some of the areas that the rapid review will cover are the following (to be further developed between the NLG co-leads and the consultant):

  • Education systems and curricula: What education system exist and what official curriculum is being used in schools where Syrian refugee children are enrolled in the host countries; are there differences between schools in refugee camps and schools in host communities? Are there differences in the learning process or implementation between refugee and non-refugee children in host communities? Attention should be paid to the issue of language of instruction and of foreign languages taught as well as to integration policies in those countries where these have been applied;
  • Other learning programmes: What are other programmes provided to Syrian refugee children or adolescents (vocational training, non-formal and informal learning programmes such as accelerated learning, life skills based education, pre-primary education)?
  • Teachers: Are Syrian teachers allowed to teach? If so, do they get any teacher training (in-service, pre-service)? What kind of certification do they receive and what are the avenues for recognition if they go back to Syria? Are they provided with other education-related work opportunities?
  • Certification:
  • What learning assessment systems are applied in the different countries (both on-going and end-of-year exams)?
  • What are the regulations (if any) being applied to refugee learners concerning the certification of learning acquisitions? Are they receiving score cards and quarterly evaluation reports? Are they eligible for obtaining national diplomas/certificates of the hosting countries particularly for end of cycle national exams (6th, 9th or 12th grades)? What are the procedures to get these certificates issues? What are the languages of these certificates? Are there any costs associated with the issuance of these certificates?
  • Are there any official agreements existing between the Syrian Ministry of Education and MoEs in the five host countries regarding reciprocal validation/equivalency/ recognition of diplomas and certificates and if so, are there specific dispositions facilitating or hindering this? Do they offer automatic recognition of qualifications without additional assessment or training requirements?
  • Are schools operating in refugee camps clearly accredited as per the regulations of the respective Ministries of Education?
  • How are the integration policies affecting certification and recognition of learning?
  • Is information relating to recognition of learning and documentation readily available to parents (and children and the refugee community) and what are their common perceptions/attitudes pertaining to this question? (this question will be assessed through key informant interviews).
  • What support mechanisms will have to be put in place to support refugees with the certification process?

  • Recommendations: the rapid review will include recommendations related to the issues above (recognition of learning for students and teachers, information available to parents) as well as distill the key issues that would inform technical discussions between the Ministries of education in the host countries and the Ministry of Education in Damascus, Syria.

    Inception report (indicating methodology and initial findings from desk review)

    15th July 2019

    A first draft (with systematized information from desk research and interviews

    5th August 2019

    A final paper that incorporates comments from the NLG co-leads as well as other relevant organisations. The final paper will be of around 20 pages maximum, excluding annexes related to interviews, information/material collected during the interviews, desk reviews and any other relevant material. The structure and table of content of the Paper will be agreed upon together between the NLG co-leads and the consultant.

    2nd September 2019

    Participation in the ministerial meeting


    REPORTING REQUIREMENTS: The consultant will report to the Regional Education Advisor through emails and Skype conferences.


    Travel required to attend the meeting with ministries of education

    From consultant’s home to venue of meeting with ministries (tbc) and back

    For individual contractors and consultants, all travel arrangements to commence the assignment, including insurance and visas, will be managed and paid by the individual. Therefore, expected travel costs must be included as a budget item in the financial proposal. Should “mission travel” be required, UNICEF will manage and pay for travel via Travel Authorization. However, this will be subject to the following prerequisites: Medical Clearance, Security Clearance through the Travel Request Information Process (TRIP) system, the Basic and Advanced Security in the Field Trainings, Travel Visa, and liability waiver. Trip prerequisites will be met at the expense of the consultant.

    Travel cost shall be calculated based on economy class travel, regardless of the length of travel. Costs for accommodation, meals and incidentals shall not exceed applicable daily subsistence allowance (DSA) rates, as promulgated by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC at The consultant must travel on UNICEF approved airlines.


  • Expertise in education with a focus on the area of curricula, accreditation and certification.
  • Familiarity with the education context in the MENA region is a must.
  • Familiarity with education in emergencies is an asset.
  • Proven track record of research in education.
  • Knowledge of and experience in the MENA region.
  • Excellent communication in English (written and spoken). Knowledge of languages used in the sub-region or the possibility of having documents translated from Arabic, Turkish or Kurdish is essential.
  • Familiarity with UNICEF’s mission and mandate is a key asset.
  • Payment Schedule:


    By Deliverable

    Payment will be made upon deliverables according to suggested schedule below.

    Inception report (15th July 2019)


    First draft (5th August 2019)


    Final report (2nd September 2019)



    Qualified candidates are requested to submit:

  • Cover letter/application.
  • Financial quote as lump sum for professional fees, and lump sum for travel/administrative/subsistence, if applicable.
  • CV
  • Examples of previous, relevant work as applicable
  • Proposed methodology/approach to managing the project.
  • 3 Referees
  • Incomplete submissions will not be considered.

    “UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.”

    How to apply:

    UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization. To apply, click on the following link