Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference for Individual Contract for an
International Consultant to undertake a mapping and study of Out-of School Children in the
TOR Reference Number: TOR/2015/10
Programme Information
 Output 4.1: By 2015, children enjoy quality learning in an inclusive child friendly
environment and are aware of sustainable environmental practices.
 Activity 4.1.4 in AWP 2015: Mapping of Out-of-School Children in the Maldives
1. Purpose of assignment (attach background documents if any)
In the Maldives Education is a constitutional right to be provided without discrimination of any kind
to all children. Maldives has attained Universal Primary education (98.6% in 2014, MoE statistics)
and achieved high rates of enrolments at Lower Secondary education Levels (81.5% in 2014, MoE
statistics). However, there is an alarmingly sharp drop in transition from lower to higher secondary
education (grades 11-12, age 16-18 years) with net enrolment at 23.9 percent in 2014. This is largely
because higher secondary education is offered in only 38 schools out of the 222 schools in the
While attendance in primary education is near universal, net attendance rate for lower secondary is
66.3%, with girls having a higher attendance rate (74.3%) compared to boys (58.7%) (DHS, 2009).
Drop-out rates for lower secondary level (for Grade 7) is higher for boys than for girls. Rural children
drop out of school at Grade 7 more often than children in Male’. While there is no robust data
suggesting that these children are not getting any education, it is assumed that some of these
children are migrating to Male’ or to other islands for secondary and higher secondary education.
Data on children dropping out of school suggest that the Central region has the highest dropout rate
(4.3%) at primary level (DHS, 2009). Dropout rate at lower secondary level ranges from 4% in the
North Central and Central Regions to 2% in Male’. There is no uniform pattern for lower secondary
school drop-out rates across wealth quintiles. Drop-out rates for lower secondary level (for Grade
7) is higher for boys than for girls across the country (Situation Analysis of Children in the Maldives,
2013). Children in Male’ complete on average almost eight years of schooling while the average for
the atolls is 4.21 years (National Human Development Report, 2014). Low number of years of
schooling in the atolls is mainly attributed to the lack of higher secondary education in the islands.
Existing data suggests that adolescents who come to Male’ for education, without parental
supervision are at risk of abuse and exploitation by their host families and communities. This pose
a great risk to many adolescents, especially adolescent girls living without adequate protection to
continue with their education. Data also suggest that some adolescent boys migrating to Male’ often
are exploited for criminal purposes and do not regularly attend school. Approximately 95% of
Children in conflict with the law reported to authorities are not in school. Children detained for
investigation of a criminal act or serving a custodial sentence also do not have access to any form of
education. Furthermore, children with disabilities as a group do not have adequate access to
education and face a multitude of barriers. There is an immediate need for better data on the
specific barriers that confront these marginalized children.
Children excluded from education face multiple and overlapping vulnerabilities including high
incidence of drug abuse, crime and violence and risky sexual behaviors and lack of employable skills.
Therefore, it is imperative that we focus on addressing the barriers to education and reduce
vulnerabilities through provision of choices including formal schooling, alternative education, life
skills and vocational education. However, in order to reach out to them, we need a clear picture of
who they are, where they are and exactly why they are out of school. This data, is required to make
policy decisions on effective responses to the issue, to determine the cost of getting all children into
schools, keep them in school and give them a quality education and to plan the expected impacts of
the interventions selected to achieve these goals.
It is to this end, UNICEF Maldives wishes to seek the services on an international consultant support
the Ministry of Education to conduct a mapping and study of out of school children in the Maldives.
2. What is the basic project objective to which the consultancy is related?
The purpose of the consultancy is to:
1. Establish the number of children and adolescents out of school in the country including the
number children of pre-school age not enrolled in school, children with disabilities, children
never enrolled in school, children who have left school and those that will enter late.
2. Identify barriers in the education system and the society that prevents specific groups of
children from getting education. (These groups include but are not limited to, children with
disabilities, children in institutions, children caught up in criminal activities and on the streets.)
3. Identify avenues to improve how data on out of school children are collected, harmonized and
4. Inform the policy frame work of the key priorities that need to be instituted to address the
For the purpose of this study the following definitions will be used.
Out-of-school pre-school age children: children of pre-school age who are not enrolled in preprimary or primary education.
Out of school primary age children: Children of official primary school age in the Maldives who are
not enrolled in primary or secondary education. Children in non-formal education are considered
out of school.
Out of school adolescents: Adolescents of secondary school age (covering both lower and upper
secondary levels) in the Maldives, who are not enrolled in primary or secondary education.
Adolescents in non-formal education are considered out of school.
Out-of-school children can be categorized into those who have never enrolled in school and those who
have enrolled in the past but left school before completing the full primary and secondary education
Non-formal education: Education that is institutionalized, intentional and planned by an education
provider. The defining characteristic of non-formal education is that it is an addition, alternative
and/or complement to formal education with in the process of the lifelong learning of individuals. It
is often provided to guarantee the right of access to education for all. It caters to people of all ages
but does not necessarily apply a continuous pathway structure. It may be short in duration and /or
low intensity and it is typically provided in the form of short courses, workshops or seminars. Nonformal education mostly needs to qualification that are not recognized as formal or equivalent to
formal qualifications by the relevant national-or subnational authorities or to no qualification at all.
This study will complement an ongoing study led by the MOE and supported by UNICEF on
Assessment of Children who migrate to Male’ for Education and development of profiles of children
and adolescents who dropout The findings and recommendations of this study will be used to bring
about effective policy changes to enroll more children in school and support them in the successful
completion of a full cycle of high quality basic education and to build cross sectoral partnerships
needed to address the complex issue.
3. Duty station:
Male’, Maldives (for Data collection and analysis phase)
4. Major tasks to be accomplished (estimate the time required to complete each task)
1. Develop a work plan with time frame at the beginning of the assignment, which is agreed by
both UNICEF, Ministry of Education and the consultant.
2. Prepare an inception report that would include the methodology for the study, based on
the global Out of School Children initiative of UNICEF and UNESCO/UIS, with a conceptual
and methodological frame work with appropriate and agreed adjustments to fit the
Maldives country context. The methodology will use a wide range of data sources both
administrative and household surveys that provide an understanding of school enrolment,
attendance and learning. Qualitative methods must be employed to generate evidence on
the barriers to education and the experiences of children and adolescents out of school.
The methodology must also obtain data on the number of children out of school across the
country, disaggregated by islands, atolls, gender, wealth quintiles and other possible
3. Provide an orientation to the technical team and steering committee supporting the study,
on the methodological approach and concepts of OOSCI once the methodology and
timelines are agreed.
4. Develop training materials and conduct a two day training for enumerators conducting data
collection from households. Existing training materials from the global OOSC initiative can
be used as reference.
5. Conduct data collection.
6. Analyze the data. This analysis must include:
An analysis of gender and other disparities in out of school rates and
Profiles of out of school children and adolescents across age groups
(pre-primary, primary and secondary levels of education).
A mapping and analysis of services for children out of school, reasons
why they are out of school, and the barriers preventing them from
going to schools and what they are doing right now.
7. Develop a draft report of the study.
8. Present the preliminary findings to UNICEF, MoE and relevant partners and discuss
recommendations based on the findings
9. Finalize the report with inputs from UNICEF and the Ministry of Education.
10. Develop an abridged version of the report, including a dashboard on the findings.
11. Produce an End of mission report
5. Deliverables
1. An agreed schedule of work with timeframes and outputs for the consultancy
2. Inception Report
3. Orientation session to the technical and steering committee.
4. 2 days of training for the enumerators.
5. Presentation on the preliminary findings of the study.
6. Draft study report
7. Final study report with an abridged version
8. End of mission report that can be used as a future tool for way forward in planning for Out of
school children.
6. Estimated duration of contract and deadline for submission of end-product
It is estimated that the consultant will work up to 62 working days in total between 1st September- 15th
December 2015.
Timeframe (excluding weekends)
Schedule of work with timeframes and outputs for the 1 day – from home base
3 days – from home base
Prepare inception report that will reflect the methodology for
the study
Orientation to the technical team and steering committee
supporting the study, including presentation of inception report
and methodology
Updating of training materials based on comments from
technical team and steering committee and training for the
Data collection and analysis and sharing of data analysis to
technical team for review
Presentation on the preliminary findings of the study.
2 days including one day for
preparation – in Maldives
4 days – in Maldives
40 days in Maldives
1 day – in Maldives
6 days from home base
Production of draft study report
Final report reflecting comments of the technical team and 3 days from home base
steering committee
End of mission report
2 days – from home base
7. Official travel involved (itinerary and duration)
Travel to Maldives
8. Qualifications or specialized knowledge and experience required
Advanced University degree in Social Sciences or Education.
Demonstrated knowledge and experience in leading and conducting social research including
analytical capacity of both quantitative and qualitative data
Excellent research and analytical skills
Proven knowledge of statistical data analysis including use of STATA, SPSS and other statistical
software packages
Strong interpersonal skills and effective communication skills
Experienced in facilitating multi-stakeholder meeting within different levels of the Government.
Adaptability and ability to receive/integrate feedback
Fluent in written and spoken English
Deadline for application is 10 August 2015
Interested candidates should submit an Expression of Interest along with;
(i) An updated CV with proof of similar work previously undertaken,
(ii) A proposal on how the applicant will undertake this assignment with methodology and timeline,
(iii) Proposed fee (in USD)
Operations Officer Muaz Ahmed muaahmed@unicef.org copy to Aslam Mohamed
forwarded under confidential cover to “Operations Officer, UNICEF, Alia Building 6th Floor, Male’, Maldives,
on or before the deadline.