Scaling Up Local Life Skills Education
Local life skills education (LLSE) was introduced into the curriculum policy in 2006 as optional. In 2016, LLSE became one of the core subjects in the Curriculum Framework of General Education and Technical Education. To further develop this new core subject, UNICEF has supported the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (MoEYS) - Department of Curriculum Development (DCD) and Vocational Orientation Department (VOD) to develop syllabus, standards, and implementation guidelines as well as a sample of 6-step problem-based teaching plans, and then piloted them in primary (grades 4-6) and secondary (grades 7-9) schools in three target provinces and gradually expanded to five provinces and now to ten provinces. Some schools faced challenges due to a limited understanding of local life skills education implementation, lack of trained life skills teachers and school leadership, shortage of resources, or limited community engagement while other schools successfully implemented the programme with strong leadership and high community engagement.
LLSE obviously provides opportunities for students to apply what they have learned in other subjects and diversified sources of information, including online learning, into their daily life through an active and participatory 6-step problem-based learning process – LLSE focuses both on product and process. LLSE also contributes to other MoEYS initiatives such as school-based management towards school-based curriculum development and teaching methodologies, lifelong learning, youth debate, and volunteering for my community to achieve the four pillars of education – learning to know (skills for learning), learning to do (skills for employment), learning to be (skills for personal empowerment) and learning to live together (skills for citizenship).
Anecdotal evidence shows that schools successfully implementing LLSE programme have some results: 1) LLSE developed students’ soft skills, confidence, and leadership; 2) under effective school leadership, more teachers employed local life skills teaching methodology in other subjects to promote inquiry/problem-based learning; and 3) Positive community engagement in the education program. Examples of community engagement include local experts stepping up to teach specific topics; local government agreeing to fund community projects proposed by the school. The community had managed to mobilize funds to build school buildings and other facilities. Seeing these results, the Minister of the MoEYS requested UNICEF to take the lead in harmonizing local life skills education. All relevant development partners were invited to join an MoEYS working group established to assist the nationwide scale-up of LLSE program in Cambodia.
The MoEYS working group comprises of two sub-groups; the overall management is chaired by the Minister and the technical sub-group is chaired by Director of Directorate General of Education (DGE). Other participants include f the Director of Directorate General of Youth (DGY), key technical departments, development partners and NGOs. The technical departments are VOD, DCD, PED, GSED, SHD, DoY and TTD. The development partners and NGOs are UNICEF, UNESCO, USAID, World Bank, ChildFund, RTI, KAPE, Plan International, Save the Children, World Education, VVOB, CARE, and Room to Read.
Subsequently, two meetings were conducted; one chaired by H.E Chan Sophea, a permanent deputy secretary of the technical sub-group with NGO partners and the other was cby H.E Hang Chuon Naron, the Minister of MoEYS. It was generally agreed that MoEYS will roll out LLSE with support from development partners and NGOs employing a harmonized teaching methodology to LLSE with focus on 21st-century skills/MoEYS 12 soft skills developments through extra-curricular activities, study clubs and volunteerism. Most importantly, the empowerment of school and community to identify learning topics that are relevant to learners’ needs (problems they faced and opportunities they can explore), engage local experts to facilitate learning and apply the 6-step problem-based learning that promote learning how to learn.
KAPE, who is well known in the education sector for running New Generation School (NGS) to promote project-based learning, was recommended by MoEYS to support the harmonization of teaching methodologies under constructivism theory, covering both theory and practical application of project-work in NGS and problem-based learning in LLSE schools
The purpose of this assignment is to support MoEYS working group to gradually rollout LLSE by district and province. First to review existing LLSE materials and engage them in the process. This includes development of a training manual for LLSE school directors and teachers; a referenced book focusing on globally and locally relevant themes, which include climate change, gender equity, mental health, and digital education; second to develop a guideline for programme expansion, management and M&E for scaling up district/provincial wide approach; and third to assess students’ soft skills to establish a baseline and snapshot of students’ skills development in three different types of schools – LLSE, NGS and non-supported schools.
3. Implementation Strategy and Technical Guidance
This assignment will be undertaken under the leadership of MoEYS. KAPE will provide a technical lead with support from UNICEF and partners to revise and develop LLSE materials, programme expansion, management and M&E framework, and assess students’ soft skills to establish a baseline and give a snapshot of skills development for future actions. Generally, KAPE will collaboratively work with the MoEYS working group and development partners, led by PED and VOD, with the engagement of DoY, DIT, DoPo, DCD, TTD, and GSED, and role model schools implementing LLSE in Siem Reap and Takeo provinces. KAPE will directly report to the Director General of Education, who technically manages the MoEYS working group to scale up LLSE with oversight of the Minister of MoEYS.
- An inception report with a detailed workplan of 10 pages for completing all deliverables within the allocated period based on consultations with the government, key partners, and UNICEF including field visits to schools implementing LLSE for three years in Siem Reap and Takeo province.
- A report of skills assessment/baseline survey (qualitative and quantitative data) - a baseline survey of three different types of schools to provide a snapshot of skills development in those schools. A concept note is separately developed for this research task.
- A LLSE training manual for school directors and teachers (school directors focus on school-based negotiated curriculum development, and teachers focus on 6-step problem-based learning). The training manual should build on existing syllabus, standards and guideline and focus on constructivism theory covering both theory and practical application of project-work and problem-based learning methods harmonizing Pedagogy Framework for the 21st Century/MoEYS 12 skills for LLSE. The training manual will also include a session on integrating ICT in the six-step learning approach. At the end of the Manual, continuous professional development should be guided to develop a professional learning community at school/cluster, district, and provincial levels. A draft of the Manual needs to be consulted with stakeholders, especially with school directors and teachers, to get their inputs; and finally, get endorsement from MoEYS.
- A reference book for LLSE - adaptation and development of globally and locally relevant themes materials of (i) Climate Change; (ii) Gender Responsiveness; (iii) Digital Literacy; (iv) Sexual Reproductive Health; (v) Stress Management. KAPE will closely work with the MoEYS-working group, UNICEF, and other development partners to guide the adaptation of these resource materials into LLSE, using the six-step approach. The reference book will be used by teachers and students as resource information during implementation of LLSE because they are not easily and locally available. KAPE will finally develop a reference book summarizing key concepts/main ideas, off/online sources, skills expected, and how to use those materials for LLSE learning – 2-page of each topic. A draft of referenced book needs to be consulted with stakeholders; especially with school directors and teachers; and then get endorsement from MoEYS. KAPE will guide uploading all resource material identified into the MoEYS e-learning platform.
- A guideline for program expansion, management, and M&E framework (provincial/district-wide approach). The program expansion will focus on developing cluster school, district, and provincial models (training and monitoring roles) to replicate these models in other schools/clusters, districts, and provinces. KAPE should analyze the stakeholders' roles, capacities and challenges faced in LLSE implementation, including reflections on central MoEYS technical departments’ roles and priorities, in the framework of the decentralization reform and redistribution of roles and resources between national and sub-national levels. KAPE can refer to two existing LLSE implementation guidelines, province-to-province and school-to-school partnership and provide suggestions for complementary models to facilitate the expansion and its sustainability. A draft of the Guideline needs to be consulted with stakeholders; especially with DOE, POE and MoEYS working group; and get endorsement from MoEYS leadership.
- A final report with a simple, costed nationwide scale-up plan and revised materials ready for MoEYS to rollout of LLSE programme. The report should also include good practices, lessons learned, and challenges with recommendations for the coming national rollout.
A work plan should be developed and submitted to MoEYS and UNICEF, which are responsible for mobilizing additional resources for consultation and implementation with stakeholders to gradually rollout district/provincial wide of LLSE programme.
- An inception report with a detailed work plan of 10 pages for completing all deliverables within the allocated period based on consultations with the government, key partners, and UNICEF program staff, including field visits to successful schools implementing LLSE in Siem Reap and Takeo province. The inception report will be submitted to MoEYS/UNICEF by mid-August 2023.
- A report of skills assessment/baseline survey (qualitative and quantitative data) – An analytical report of the current situation (a snapshot) of a subset of soft skills in three school groupings: LLSE-schools already supported by UNICEF, New Generation Schools, and schools not yet implementing either programme. The report will provide MoEYS a clear picture of skills development in those schools and recommendations of ways forward to strengthen to implement LLSE and impact assessment in the next three years. The analysis will also establish a baseline against which results three years later can be measured. The report of 25 pages (excluding annexes) will be submitted to MoEYS/UNICEF by the end of October 2023.
- A for school directors and teachers (school directors focus on school-based negotiated curriculum development, and teachers focus on 6-step problem-based learning). The training manual need to be consulted with stakeholders; especially, teachers and school director. The final draft of training manual needs to be endorsed by MoEYS. The final training manual with a two-page report will be submitted to MoEYS and UNICEF by end of November 2023
- A reference book for LLSE on Climate Change, Gender Responsiveness, Digital Literacy, Sexual Reproductive Health and Stress Management materials to be adapted. And then a reference book summarizing key concepts/main ideas, off/online sources, skills expected, and how to use those materials for LLSE learning – 2-page of each topic uploading into the MoEYS e-learning platform. A draft of referenced book needs to be consulted with stakeholders; especially with school directors and teachers; and then get endorsement from MoEYS. The referenced book with one page of report will be submitted to MoEYS/UNICEF by the end of December 2023.
- A guideline for program expansion, management, and M&E framework. The guideline should analyze the stakeholders' roles in LLSE implementation, including reflections on central MoEYS technical departments’ roles and priorities, in the framework of the decentralization reform and redistribution of roles and resources between national and sub-national levels. The Guideline needs to be consulted with stakeholders; especially with DOE, POE and MoEYS working group; and get endorsement from MoEYS leadership. The final Guideline, including a simple district/provincial scale-up plan and indicative cost with a one-page report, will be submitted to MoEYS/UNICEF by the end of January 2024.
- A final report with a simple nationwide scale-up plan and revised materials ready for MoEYS to rollout of LLSE programme. The report should also include good practices, lessons learned, and challenges with recommendations for the coming national rollout. The final report will be submitted to MoEYS/UNICEF by February 2024.
6. Capacity Development
During the course of implementing activities in this Programme Document, UNICEF will work with KAPE and MoEYS to conduct capacity development activities:
UNICEF will organize a kick-off meeting with the Partners and MoEYS working group led by VOD and PED to share the partnership workplan, latest updates and guidance including good practices, lessons learned and challenges in LLSE implementation. The UNICEF Education officer will ensure that the skills assessment will provide a clear picture of students’ skills development status in the UNICEF LLSE target areas, compared with a carefully selected comparison group, and material revision and adaptation including training manual ready for the rollout. The UNICEF Education officer will also provide technical guidance on the development of the guideline for programme expansion, management and M&E framework to assure the success of the rollout. The Partner is not only accountable to UNICEF but also to the MoEYS working group that is technically managed by the Director General of Education and overseen by the Minister of MoEYS in relation to key strategies on LLSE rollout. Some of these strategies include orientation of the existing guidelines and materials, engagement of MoEYS working group in sample selection of schools for skills development assessment, revision and development of LLSE materials, and development of school cluster, district and provincial models for the rollout.
UNICEF will provide a training workshop on PSEA to KAPE and reassess it against PSEA requirements. There will be number of field supportive supervisions including orientation, training workshop, and programmatic visit to KAPE in strengthening capacity for effective programmatic and financial management, and preventing fraud, sexual exploitation and abuse, and safeguarding violations.
7. Other Partners Involved
KAPE will report to both UNICEF and MoEYS following UNICEF’s partnership cooperative agreement (PCA) guidelines procedures. UNICEF and MoEYS will designate point of contact person who will coordinate management of KAPE activities. All activities will be implemented through a system strengthening approach where the CSO supports and engages MoEYS working group in skills assessment/baseline survey and materials review, development and adaptation for LLSE rollout. UNICEF will provide overall technical and financial management and supervision while MoEYS will also province technical oversight in line with relevant government policies and guidelines. Other key partners will include ChildFund, World Education, Plan International, Save the Children and Room to Read who join the MoEYS working group agreed to adapt the 6-step problem-based learning/project work in their programme.
8. Gender, Equity and Sustainability
Gender: The program will integrate a gender perspective in the overall program implementation, when analysing, planning, executing the defined activities. Mainstreaming gender perspectives in programme planning will influence all steps of the work, including research tools design, data collection, sampling definition, data analysis, content development as well as consultation processes, modalities and training. Gender-responsiveness is also one of the key topics in the revised LLSE reference book.
Equity: As requested by the Ministry of MoEYS, LLSE will be rollout to all schools so that soon or later all students; regardless their gender, disabilities, race, family background and economical status; will participate in LLSE. The equity dimensions will be incorporated into the programme strategy for expansion, management and M&E framework.
Sustainability: All project activities will be implemented through a system strengthening approach where KAPE works closely with MoEYS working group on materials review, adaptation and development as well as skills development assessment/baseline survey. KAPE support will contribute to capacity building of MoEYS working group to understand where students’ skills development is at, and materials are ready to rollout LLSE. Next step, a MoEYS master training team will be formed and equipped with necessary skills to implement school-to-school, district-to-district and province-to-province partnerships with support from development partners.
6Higher Education Institutions