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Air pollution represents the single largest environmental risk to health globally. WHO estimated that air pollution was responsible for more than 550,000 premature deaths in the European Region in 2016, 6,592 of which (= 131,183 years of life lost) were attributed to air pollution in Serbia. Air pollution is associated with some of the biggest killers of children such as pneumonia, which is globally responsible for the deaths of 920,000 children under 5 years of age every year. It is also linked with other chronic respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma which can be debilitating, force children to miss school, and even cause long-lasting damage to their health and wellbeing. Air pollution threatens children’s survival, development, and wellbeing – all of which are children’s fundamental rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
In recent years, education for sustainable development and for environmental protection has received attention in various documents that are building policy and regulatory framework of education in Serbia. However, analyses indicate several key challenges and opportunities for further development in this area:
- Cross-curricular links of the parts of the content of education for sustainable development that are placed in different school subjects should be strengthened. Such an integrative approach would help students form a holistic picture of sustainable development and help them better understand the concept of sustainable development;
- Students should be given more opportunities in schools to develop appropriate habits and behaviour, i.e. to learn about sustainable development not only through lectures and lessons, but also through practical activities in class and out in their environment;
- Linkages between non-formal and informal education need to be further strengthened in order to continue and support the development of competencies for sustainable development already initiated within the formal education system; and
- Further civic engagement, awareness and information campaigns are needed to educate and create momentum and action around the values of sustainable development.
UNICEF aims to build on the current momentum around renewed awareness and interest in the negative impact of air pollution and climate change to pilot an initiative that aims to increase awareness around the levels of air pollution and its harmful effects on health and wellbeing among school children, parents, and teachers by installing low-cost air quality sensors in schools. The real-time air quality data will directly help teachers to decide daily school activities based on the pollution levels and increase children’s awareness and knowledge to create future positive change in social norms and behaviours, as well as policies over the long-term.
Work Assignment Overview:
The main focus of the education component of the overall project ‘Schools for better Air Quality’ is related to the education of students about air pollution and environmental issues through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects and extra-curricular activities. More specifically, the project activities aim to increase students’ interest in science, increase awareness around the harmful impact of air pollution on their health so they can further inform peers and their own families and parents, and to encourage action in parents – to reduce exposure to bad air, and students – in terms of inspiring and training the next generation of air quality advocates.
The Education Consultant will be responsible for operational planning and coordinating the implementation of the education component of this project to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of the project management, as well as delivery and accomplishment of the project goals and objectives. The consultant will work as a part of the larger cross-sectoral office team (innovation, youth development, child-rights monitoring, education) and lead the project implementation of the education component of the project.
Duration of the assignment: September 2021 – July 2023 (part-time, office-based)
Tasks and responsibilities:
- Management and implementation of the education component of the ‘Schools for better Air Quality’ project
- Support in the development of open resources for digital learning for the needs of students and training of teachers
- Support to the selection of schools and school-related activities (school projects in the areas of STEM with the topic of air pollution)
- Knowledge Management
A more detailed task description will be provided to the selected candidate.
- University degree in Education or other fields of Social Studies and Humanities, Geography, Biology or other STEM fields;
- At least 5 years of experience in project management;
- Essential knowledge of climate change trends;
- Technical knowledge of theories, principles and methods in the areas of: Education, STEM, project based learning and online learning;
- Experience in tracking budgets and project expenditures;
- Ability to keep to strict deadlines;
- Attention to detail;
- Experience in organizing public events and printing of materials;
- Experience in using digital communication and research tools;
- Excellent English and Serbian skills, spoken and written.
How to apply:
The application must include a financial proposal in RSD as a separate document, providing the following information:
- Daily rate (all costs included, e.g. health insurance, pension, usage of mobile phone),
- Daily travel allowance for an overnight stay in Serbia (including accommodation),
- Transportation cost per km (for travel within Serbia).
Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.
Only shortlisted candidates will be notified and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
For every child, you must demonstrate UNICEF’s core values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability.
UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, 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.
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