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Ideas for Developing Asia and the Pacific

Call for Proposals: Indonesia-Based Organizations to Implement the High-Touch High-Tech Pilot in Junior Secondary Schools in Indonesia

Department Research
Report to Research Fellow
Location

urban or peri-urban areas, specific location to be determined

Contract Duration February 2022 – December 2023

Background

Differentiated teaching, in which students are taught according to their actual levels of understanding and provided with tailored learning paths, is key to ensuring learning. However, the initial distribution of student foundational skills is often very high in a classroom. Even highly experienced, skilled, and motivated teachers will find implementing differential teaching to the whole distribution of abilities challenging. For the average teacher, attempting to do so would cause them to spend virtually all their time teaching only foundational skills. They would have no time to teach higher-order skills.

Technology can help address this constraint. Recent evidence shows that personalized technology-aided instruction programs yield large absolute learning gains for all students, with greater relative gains for academically weaker students. More importantly, such programs can cover the whole distribution of students’ initial skills. With technology’s help to develop their students’ foundational skills, teachers can have time to help students develop their higher-order skills.

A recent development in technology-aided differentiated teaching is the high-touch high-tech (HTHT) approach. The HTHT approach is comprised of two components:

  1. High-tech approach to equip students with foundational skills. In this component, students interact directly with a computer software. The software assists teachers in teaching foundational skills in two ways: (i) teach to the whole distribution of foundational skills; (ii) reduce the amount of time needed by teachers to teach foundational skills by providing test results, diagnostics, and learning modules.
  2. High-touch approach to equip students with higher order skills. Since teaching these skills require a close interaction between teachers and students, this component is comprised of a series of training to teachers to implement high-touch teaching.

Although this approach has become common in high-income countries, it is yet to be widely implemented in low and middle-income countries. More rigorous evidence is needed, especially in the context where teacher skills and motivation are low.

The Indonesian Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (MoECRT) is currently developing a technology-aided differentiated teaching system for their whole primary and secondary level education. The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), in partnership with the MoECRT, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and Tanoto Foundation, has engaged an education technology (EdTech) company and education research organizations as consultants for designing and contextualizing HTHT interventions since 2021. The interventions mainly consist of two components: (a) developing AI-based software and training for teachers on its use (High-Tech) and (b) developing a teacher training program on pedagogical approaches to foster students’ higher-order skills (High-Touch). Prior to this assignment, these HTHT interventions will be tested with actual students and teachers at selected schools so that they will be ready for large scale implementation in selected public schools for a whole school year. An impact evaluation will also be conducted to evaluate the impacts on student achievement from these interventions.

Through this call for proposals, ADBI is looking for an organization based in Indonesia (or a consortium whose lead organization has legal status in Indonesia) that will be primarily responsible for implementing HTHT interventions in about 100 public junior secondary schools, to be selected at a later date. The geographical coverage of the evaluation will be urban or peri-urban areas in districts that will be determined later. The pilot implementation will run in the school year 2022/2023, with the teacher training to start prior to the start of the school year. The organization will closely collaborate with organizing partners such as ADBI, ADB, MoECRT, Tanoto Foundation, and other consultants hired by the project, selected schools, education districts, and local stakeholders. The organization (or the consortium lead) must have legal status in Indonesia.     

Scope of Work

The main goal of this consultancy is to implement the HTHT interventions in selected schools. Though teachers will receive the HTHT training as one package, the consultant will be in charge of delivering the High-Touch training and managing the overall HTHT intervention implementation. On the other hand, an EdTech company will deliver the High-Tech training and the High-Tech implementation in close collaboration with the consultant.  

The consultant will not be responsible for designing or creating the High-Tech or High-Touch interventions. The interventions will already be ready for deployment.

The scope of work for this consultancy is as follows:

  1. Develop a pool of skilled trainers. The implementation of the HTHT teacher training is expected start in July 2022, before the start of the 2022 new school year, which will start in August 2022. For this, the consultant will be required to mobilize and develop a sufficient number of highly skilled trainers or resource persons in the first half of 2022. The roles of these trainers are to lead the organization of training sessions, to train the High-Touch approach, and to regularly follow up with the trained teachers. The trainers should have sufficient professional experience in training teachers on relevant topics (e.g., inquiry-based learning, mathematics), preferably accredited as trainers by professional organizations, and will need to be assessed before taking up the project’s assignment. Given that the project will cover about 100 public junior secondary schools,  approximately 150-200 mathematics subject teachers for Grade 7 students will participate in the training. The consultant is expected to keep the cohort of trainees at a maximum of 20 teachers per session to ensure effective learning and interaction between a trainer and teachers. In addition, the trainers should also fulfill other roles stipulated by the training module, such as regular check-in and assessment of training.
     
  2. Implement teacher training. Upon developing a pool of trainers, the consultant will conduct the HTHT training with target teachers in selected schools. For enabling a rigorous impact evaluation, it is essential to bring the skills and knowledge of all the selected teachers to a sufficient level so that they will confidently implement the HTHT approach for their students in class.

    The teacher training will include the following training modules:

    • General module: About HTHT approach, its development objectives, practical aspects about HTHT (e.g. lesson allocation, annual plan), training to change teachers’ motivations and mindset for the interventions.
    • High-Tech module*: About how to use an adaptive learning software program through ensuring that teachers are (i) familiarized with the software functions; (ii) motivated to improve students’ learning outcomes by using the software, and; (iii) can integrate the software use in their lesson plans. Necessary changes to pedagogical practices (e.g. in-classroom scripted guides, weekly plans) such that they complement the software should also be part of this module. *Please note that this module is delivered by the EdTech company’s trainers.
    • High-Touch module: Introducing inquiry-based learning methods appropriate for junior secondary students and aligned with the national curriculum. The overall objective of inquiry-based learning is to help students develop competencies that will enable them to solve real-world problems effectively. Under this objective, this training mainly aims to ensure that teachers will be equipped with practical approaches to initiate basic inquiry-based learning activities with their students. The training contents will be concentrated on the fundamentals of inquiry-based learning, such as goals and processes and facilitation skills to help students set inquiries.
       

    Tentatively, the HTHT training is about 10 days in duration (4 days for High-Tech training, 4 days for High-Touch training, and 2 days for introduction, demonstration, and assessment), plus regular check-ins (intermittently), and refresher training. The consultant will also allocate sufficient time to assess teachers' readiness as a part of the training programs and provide certification for them as needed. The training kit, to be developed outside of the assignment, will also feature practical examples of inquiry-based learning (such as sample lesson plans/schedules and well-scripted lesson guides covering 2-3 topics in Grade 7 mathematics). These tools are expected to help teachers immediately start implementing the methods after the training, upon the start of the new school year.

  3. Provide continuous support for teachers and schools. After the first training, the trainers will regularly monitor the assigned teachers to ensure the HTHT interventions are properly implemented for the school year. They will also provide all teachers with at least 2 sessions of refresher training, indicatively in 3 months and 6 months after the first training. They will support the teachers facing significant challenges more intensively.

    The delivery of training and follow-up support can be virtual, in-person, or hybrid, depending on the COVID-19 pandemic situation. The consultant must supervise the trainers during the training sessions and the follow-up phase and conduct spotchecks with teachers as needed.
     

  4. Project management and administration. The consultant will be expected to manage other aspects required for effective implementation of HTHT intervention, which include:
    • Manage sound relations with clients and stakeholders. The consultant will develop a realistic work schedule, manage logistical coordination and clearances with schools, teachers, and districts as need to perform the assignments. Also, the consultant will establish and maintain a productive working relationship with the MoECRT staff, both in Jakarta and in the relevant provinces, and relevant local government units/agencies, including school principals and teachers.
    • Manage necessary hardware infrastructure. The consultant will check inventories of available PCs, necessary hardware devices (including internet connectivity), peripherals (e.g. headphones, keyboards, mice), school schedules related to mathematics and all courses that use PCs, and school staff/teachers in charge of ICT at the schools ahead of the intervention implementation. If any deficiencies are found, the consultant will inform ADBI immediately.
    • Provide school/teacher support. The consultant will conduct routine and frequent monitoring with the teachers and trainers using appropriate and objective methods. The EdTech company will lead the monitoring of the software usage, but the consultant will be responsible for tracking the status of these problem resolutions. The consultant (and the trainers) is expected to perform as a one-stop helpdesk for participating schools and teachers on any issues related to the intervention, in close communication with ADBI. EdTech company, and other partners.
    • Upload the online components of High-Touch training to Guru Belajar. The consultant will liaise with the MoECRT team, which is in charge of the teachers’ learning platform.
       
  5. Dissemination events. Organize a maximum of five events – three in Jakarta and two outside Jakarta. The events will vary in size. Of the events, two may be larger events, inviting around 75 guests. The rest will be smaller events, inviting a maximum of 30 guests.

Further Particulars

  1. The training on the High Touch component will have an online component, which will be uploaded onto Guru Belajar, a learning platform designed by MoECRT. The training set can be delivered either fully online or blended depending on the pandemic. The consultant should have a plan to monitor the progress of teachers on the platform if the training is delivered online.   
  2. The consultant will be required to consult different units in MoECRT, to ensure: (i) complementarity, compatibility, and avoidance of any duplication with the training modules developed/delivered by the Ministry; and (ii) relatively seamless integration with the Ministry’s online platform. The consultant will join in meetings called by ADBI and other project partners.

Timeline

The indicative summary timeline of the activities appear below. Activities 2 and 3 must begin in June 2022.

Deliverables

ADBI will review each deliverable. Feedback, if any, will be provided within one week of submission.

  1. An overall work plan for this assignment with necessary approval/clearance specified.

For SoW 1:

  1. Report on the training of trainers, assignments of trainers, justifications, and assessment results.
  2. Training schedule (for all training modules) including session topics, delivery modes, and the assignments of trainers and schools/teachers (cohort).

For SoW 2 and 3:

  1. Report on all training or refresher sessions conducted. The report must be a maximum of five pages and must be submitted within 2 weeks after the training or refresher is conducted. The content will be determined together with ADBI on a later date.

For SoW 4:

  1. Submit monthly progress brief, which describes the implementation of the interventions (High-Tech and High-Touch combined), issues, and solutions. A progress brief of a particular month is due in the first week of the following month. The progress brief can be in bullet-point format and submitted through email.
  2. Inventory report on facilities and equipment for HTHT interventions.

For SoW 5:

  1. Report for each event conducted. The report must be a maximum of five pages. The outline of the report will be determined later. The report must be submitted a maximum of 1 month after the event is conducted.

Reporting

The consulting firm’s task leader and selected team members wil have an update meeting with the ADBI task manager on a fortnightly basis.

Submission Procedure

Interested organizations or consortia should submit a technical proposal written in English, with normal fonts (e.g., Times New Roman, 12-pt, 1.5 spacing) and 1-inch page margins on the A4 paper setting.

The proposal should be a maximum of 10 pages in length and contain the following four sections:

  1. Proposed general approach to deliver the scope of work (max 2 pages)
  2. Operation plans, indicative work schedule, team composition including potential trainers, assessment of trainers and trainees, strategy to ensure implementation integrity (max 3 pages)
  3. List of potential problems with the HTHT project and proposed preemptive measures to avoid those problems (max 2 pages)
  4. Organization profile, list of relevant experience, including a list of relevant projects and publications, the composition of the team that will undertake the consultancy, and the profile of the proposed team leader and team members (max 3 pages)

As part of proposal submission, the following must be attached (English is preferred, but Bahasa Indonesia is accepted if getting a translation is time consuming or requires additional cost):

  • Evidence of legal status in Indonesia (if a consortium, then the lead organization’s legal status in Indonesia)
  • Evidence of independently audited financial statements for the last three years (if a consortium, then the financial statements of the lead organization)
  • Statement confirming the implementation of standard operating procedures related to: (i) child protection; (ii) data safeguards; (iii) integrity/anti-corruption, and; (iv) staff code of conduct. The ADBI may request of a copy of such policies prior to contract signing.

The aim of the proposal is to demonstrate whether the consultant would be able to deliver the scope of work. As such, a financial proposal is not needed at the submission stage.

Submit the proposal and attachments as a single PDF file to: Junko Mitsuhashi ([email protected]), by 3 December 2021 at 5:00pm Tokyo time. Please use: “HTHT Implementation Proposal_[Firm Name]” in the email subject line.

Selection Criteria

Submitted proposals will be assessed based on the following criteria:

  • Extensive experience in conducting teacher training in Indonesia
  • Experience in implementing education interventions in public primary or junior secondary schools
  • Experience in successfully managing complex multi-year programs
  • Experience in working with donor agencies, international organizations, or charitable foundations
  • Experience in working closely, establishing, and maintaining productive relationships with government officials and/or employees
  • Track record, skills, and experience of the task leader and team members with regards to: (i) program management, and; (ii) implementing complex interventions

Inquiries

Inquiries should be directed to Daniel Suryadarma ([email protected]), at the latest five working days before the submission deadline.