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The prime objective of the proposed project is to improve the competencies and skills of class teachers (i.e., those teaching grades one to four) in WBG schools, and in doing so to contribute to enhancing students’ learning in primary schools. This objective will be achieved through two types of interventions targeted at teacher educators, student teachers and under qualified practicing teachers. First, the proposed project will support investments aimed at
improving the quality and pertinence of the school-based practice component of teacher education (the teaching practicum) programs. Second, TEIP will support the supply of quality programs by higher education institutions[1] to facilitate the upgrading of academic and professional knowledge and skills of the large proportion of practicing class teachers (i.e.,teachers teaching in grades one to four) who are currently under-qualified in their academic and/or professional teaching qualifications and who do not satisfy the new standards for teacher certification that are being developed by the CDTP with support from EC-UNESCO. The target population of the proposed project is future teachers that are being prepared to become class teachers and under-qualified teachers currently teaching in grades one to four.
19. One project outcome indicator and two intermediate outcome indicators will be expressly used to monitor progress towards achieving the proposed project development objective. The “readiness-to-teach indicator”[2] will be used to assess progress towards the project outcome. The two intermediate outcome indicators are: (i) the percentage of class teachers in participating schools engaged in mentoring student teachers; and (ii) decline in shortfall of qualified class teachers at the primary level[3].
20. Assurances will be sought that prior to disbursing funds for the training of “collaborating teachers[4]” in the first component, the MOEHE has prepared a data collection plan and methodology to collect information for the “readiness-to-teach” indicator.
C. Project Components
21. The proposed project consists of three components: (i) strengthening “school-based practice” of pre-service teacher education programs; (ii) upgrading academic and professional teaching qualification of under-qualified class teachers; and (iii) implementation support.
The first two are aimed at improving the quality of teaching in grades one to four in primary education. Although the project will be implemented by line units of the MOEHE, the existing Bank-financed Project Coordination Unit (PCU) will provide support for general implementation, procurement and financial management. This PCU will be responsible for training MOEHE’s procurement and financial management staff.
Component 1 - Strengthening “School-based Practice” of Pre-service Teacher Education Programs (US$2,473,000)
22. The current system of pre-service teacher education in Palestine is excessively centered on traditional notions that learning to teach is a matter of acquiring theoretical or 'action less’ knowledge about teaching in college/university and applying it subsequently in classrooms. The objective of this component is to improve the quality of graduates of teacher education programs by reforming and strengthening the school experience component of their program of studies and bringing them to the level of what is considered international good practice. To provide student teachers with effective professional learning experiences, this component will support the establishment of a system of context-based practical experiences in schools as a central part of the program of studies. These experiences will be similar to those in which the student teachers will subsequently exercise their profession.
23. This component will be managed by MOEHE’s Directorate General for Supervision and Qualification (DSQ) and implementation will take place in two phases. During the first phase a small number of schools will be selected to try a few alternatives for the first two years that then will be evaluated to assess positive and negative design aspects. Based on the evaluation results of this phase, the MOEHE will decide on the most appropriate way to scale up “school-based practice” initiatives. For the first phase, the MOEHE has selected a group of four higher education institutions[5] to pilot programs in a selected number of schools. MOEHE selected these institutions based on their previous track record in teacher training, coupled with geographic considerations to ensure that there is adequate geographic coverage in the West Bank (north, south center).
24. This component will fund two local consultants (one to be based in Gaza) to provide technical assistance and implementation support to the DSQ. In addition, this component will fund international technical assistance to assist MOEHE and the participating higher education institutions to design, test, implement and evaluate “school-based practice” programs, using well established international good practices in this area. In this context, this component will also fund: (i) on-the job training to staff from the higher education institutions that will be administering the school-based practice programs; (ii) training of faculty to ensure that they have the adequate skills to deliver school-based practice programs, including study tours; (iii) training of school mentors, or cooperating teachers, and other school-based staff; (iv) hiring of consultants with the selected higher education institutions for the delivery of the practicum
programs; (v) upgrading teaching equipment and learning materials of participating schools; and (vi) program evaluation-related data collection and analysis.
Component 2- Upgrading Academic and Professional Teaching Qualification of Under-qualified Class Teachers (US$2,179,000) 26. The objective of this component is to upgrade the skills and competencies of approximately 3,500 (out of a total of approximately 4,400) teachers in WBG under-qualified
teachers in grades one through four, in order to bring these teachers qualifications to an equivalent of a professional certification. This would enable these teachers to meet the standards required for teacher certification. This component will be targeted to under-qualified practicing teachers who do not hold a teacher certificate. It would support the development and administration of a teacher certification program. Experienced and new under-qualified teachers
would be given the opportunity to upgrade their academic and/or professional teaching qualifications to enable these teachers to meet the new standards for teacher certification.
27. The MOEHE’s NIET will administer this program which will consist of modular courses to be delivered by teacher colleges. Teachers will be eligible to obtain a Class Teacher Professional Certificate (CTPC) which will make their qualifications equivalent to that of a licensed teacher graduating from accredited teacher education programs. The CDTP will define the type of certificate that successful participants in the program would obtain. This program would be highly motivational, as it would give under-qualified teachers the opportunity to upgrade their skills and enhance their teaching careers and become eligible for promotions and other benefits.
28. The MOEHE selected four universities in the West Bank (Birzeit, Al-Quds, Hebron, and Al-Najah Universities) and one university in Gaza which is Al-Azhar. In the case of Gaza, Al- Azhar University will be a “focal point” and will coordinate with other relevant universities in Gaza. The MOEHE selected these universities based on their previous experience in skills upgrading for under-qualified teachers, coupled with geographic considerations to ensure coverage throughout the West Bank. The same considerations were applied for Gaza and Al- Azhar was deemed most appropriate. During the appraisal mission, the Bank’s team discussed the selection process for these universities and concluded that it was appropriate and well
justified in the current context.
29. This component will fund: (i) two local consultants that will provide technical assistance and implementation support to NIET (one of the consultants will be based in Gaza); and (ii) international technical assistance to be provided by a well-known institution with extensive experience in professional development and in-service teacher training. This international institution will assist NIET and the selected HE institutions with the preparation of tools to
assess the level of competencies and skills of class teachers and, based on this assessment, to design a modular program for upgrading their skills. It will also provide implementation support for the evaluation of phase one and the preparation of a plan for scaling up this initiative using the evaluation data; (iii) training of trainers to be provided by the international institution; (iv) funds to finance the delivery of these training programs by higher education institutions through a consultant service contract with these participating local higher education institutions; (v) development and printing of training materials; (vi) a communication/dissemination campaign to inform unqualified teachers about the program; and (vii) financing of incremental operating costs to support NIET-TMT during project implementation.
30. Prior to effectiveness, assurances will be sought that the MOEHE’s NIET has appointed a TMT consisting of four staff (including the team leader) acceptable to the Bank to liaise with the selected HE institutions and to ensure the day-to-day management of this component.
Component 3- Project Management and Implementation Support (US$348,000)
31. the project will be implemented by the DSQ and the NIET. The PCU of the current World Bank-funded TEP will provide support for general implementation, procurement and financial management. It will also carry out skills building activities on procurement and financial management to train MOEHE’s staff responsible for procurement and financial management.
32. This component will fund operational costs associated with consultant fees of a PCU coordinator; a procurement specialist; an accountant; a financial management specialist; and administrative support. It will also fund procurement and financial management training for MOEHE staff; operating costs related to site visits to supervise implementation activities; communication and dissemination activities; and office supplies.
33. The overall monitoring and evaluation of TEIP will be done by the MOEHE’s Monitoring and Evaluation Department (MED) within the Directorate General of Planning using the Performance Assessment Framework (PAF) indicators prepared by this unit to monitor EDSP implementation. The Assessment and Evaluation Department (AED), with technical assistance from the international consultants hired under both components, will be responsible for the development of this “readiness to teach indicator,” in close collaboration with participating tertiary education institutions, NIET, DSQ and the MED.
[1] The terms higher education institutions, teacher training institutions and teacher colleges are used interchangeably in this text. They refer to post secondary education institutions that offer teacher education and/or teacher training programs
[2] This indicator is a composite index summarizing teaching competencies in areas related to: (i) professional values and practices;
(ii) Professional knowledge and understanding; and (iii) professional skills and applications.
[3] This indicator is the ratio of qualified class teachers to the total number of class teachers in primary education, expressed as a percent.
[4] Collaborating teachers” are class teachers that are teaching in classes 1 to 4 where the student teachers will be undertaking their professional practice.
[5] The selected institutions are Al-Azhar University in Gaza; Arab American University in the north; Bethlehem University in the south; Ramallah Men’s Training Center - RMTC (UNRWA) in Ramallah.