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Bureau of Conflict Stabilization Operations seeking Applications for Building Tolerance in Education Systems in Uganda

Bureau of Conflict Stabilization Operations seeking Applications for Building Tolerance in Education Systems in Uganda

Deadline: 2 June 2020

The United States Department of State, Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) has announced an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for a two-step research and capacity building and curriculum development program that will help inform key Ugandan decision-makers’ efforts to (a) understand the sources of materials and training in Ugandan primary and secondary Islamic education systems and (b) develop strategies to integrate concepts of inclusion, pluralism, and religious tolerance in primary and secondary education curricula in religious and secular schools.

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Research and reporting have highlighted the need to better understand community perceptions related to Islamic education and for Ugandan-based development of curriculum and instruction. The Government of Uganda and the Ugandan Muslim community have expressed a desire to develop Ugandan-sourced teacher training, instructional standards, and curriculum. This program should develop a strategy to build a curriculum component that bolsters resilience to exclusionary, intolerant narratives in all education systems, including both religious and secular education systems.

Multiple awards may be issued from this NOFO. Applicants may apply to Part 1 or Part 2, or to both. Applicants may submit only one application. Note that there are separate scoring criteria for Parts 1 and 2.

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Part 1: Assessing Scope/Breadth of Religious Curricula and Instruction

CSO seeks to assess the diverse range of religious curricula and instruction in Uganda, initially focusing on primary and secondary Islamic schools. The Implementer is expected to work closely with CSO and Ugandan stakeholders in the design of and administration plan for a survey of madrasas to assess the diverse range of religious curricula, teacher training, and other factors germane to the quality and content of instruction in religious schools.

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Part 2: Building Religious Tolerance and Inclusion into Ugandan Education Systems

Incorporating findings from Part I, CSO seeks to increase religious tolerance, pluralism, inclusion, and critical thinking in education curricula in all (both religious and secular) classroom settings. The implementer is expected to work with CSO, Embassy Staff, and Ugandan stakeholders to develop a schedule for and facilitate activities in Uganda, which may include providing technical assistance in drafting curriculum guidelines, providing input into teacher training curriculum, instructional quality assurance, assessment consistency, policy support, or other activities.

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Program Goal

The program goal is to increase resiliencies among school-aged children against exclusionary, intolerant narratives in both religious and secular education systems by expanding the Ugandan government’s knowledge and understanding of religious curricula and teacher training through research and building the capacity of Ugandan stakeholders in secular and religious schools to develop a contextualized, pluralistic curriculum.

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Part 1: Assessing Scope/Breadth of Religious Curricula and Instruction

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In close consultation with Ugandan stakeholders, increase knowledge and understanding of the diverse range of curricula and instruction in Ugandan primary and secondary Islamic schools through a census or representative survey of madrasas, and a qualitative assessment of community views on madrasa education (FGDs and KIIs).

Activities should include, but may not be limited to:

Document Review. Undertake a comprehensive review of existing research on Islamic education in Uganda, including efforts from the Ugandan and international government, non-government, and private research entities. CSO can help facilitate a review of studies funded by the U.S. Government.
Madrasas Survey. With guidance from CSO, the implementer will identify Ugandan Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) and Kibuli Office of the Supreme Mufti (KOSM) Muslim district kadhis (the Islamic leader at the district level within the UMSC and KOSM structures) to assist in administering a rapid assessment of curriculum being taught in both publicly and privately funded, full-time, primary and secondary education madrasas, including the geographic provenance of materials, the training and certification of teachers, and the connections and/or consistency of materials and training across the landscape of madrasas in Uganda.
FGDs and/or KIIs. A series of FGDs and KIIs focused on Muslim communities (FGDs: PTA leaders, and recent graduates; KIIs: community leaders, government officials, academics) in Uganda to build an understanding of the community perceptions of the materials and training of teachers, the quality of education at madrasas, and the Ugandan government’s involvement in religious and educational matters.
Dissemination of research findings via a report and an optional workshop. The findings should be incorporated into Part 2 activities.
Part 2: Building Religious Tolerance and Inclusion into Ugandan Education Systems

Ugandan stakeholders will gain the capacity to develop a contextualized, pluralistic curriculum to build resilience to exclusionary, intolerant narratives in secular curricula in both religious and secular education systems.
Ugandan stakeholders will gain the capacity to implement an effective training module for teachers in both religious and secular schools emphasizing critical thinking, tolerance, and pluralism as components of secular curricula.
Activities should incorporate research findings from Part 1 and be part of a collaborative effort to share best practices, support the development of standardized curricula and processes, and report findings back to stakeholders and communities, drawing on international and national education experts and practitioners as appropriate.

Illustrative activities:

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Best practices exchange workshop. International and national experts in curriculum development, teacher training, and other relevant domains share best practices on building pluralism, tolerance, and critical thinking into educational curricula. Participants might include representatives from Ministry of Education and Sports (MoE&S), Ugandan civil society organizations, and Muslim and other religious leaders focused on education. Workshop activities might include:
Curriculum development activities focused on building pluralism, tolerance, and critical thinking skills in both religious and secular primary and secondary schools
Development of teacher training strategies focused on the same principles.
Drafting of workshop report to serve as a roadmap for the Government of Uganda to implement the findings broadly, including a rough assessment of the resources required.
Pilot teacher training workshop(s). Train religious and secular teachers on building pluralism, tolerance, and critical thinking into secular curricula. The teachers are selected through a collaborative, stakeholder-driven process, and include those who have undergone religious education training abroad but may not hold official teacher credentials.
Institutional support. Provide technical support to organizations/institutions engaged in supporting secular curricula, including in religious schools, to help develop education strategies, training design for instructors, and curricula guidance.
Community outreach. Support workshop participants to disseminate findings and best practices through their networks at the subnational level. Make materials available to religious and secular primary and secondary educational institutions throughout Uganda, based on input from the GOU and local stakeholders.
Funding Information

CSO expects to award up to two (2) cooperative agreements based on this NOFO and in an amount not to exceed the total ceiling amount of $444,375.
The period of performance is 12-18 months with an anticipated start date of July 2020.
Target Group

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The Ugandan Muslim community, and specifically primary and secondary madrasas.
Educators, civil society, community, and government stakeholders focused on the religious and secular education spaces.
Geographic Focus

Nationwide. Ideally every primary and secondary madrasa throughout Uganda. Otherwise a representative sample, with over-sampling of low population / Muslim minority areas, in at least half of the approximately 110 religious districts.
This will depend on the specific activities being proposed by the implementer.
Eligibility Criteria

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Applicant must have acute awareness of conflict-related sensitivities in Uganda, through prior work in Uganda, the region, or through thematic expertise, and knowledge of Ugandan culture, socio-political and gender dynamics, governance, civil society, and educational system. Applicants addressing Part 1 must have technical survey design and sample selection expertise. Applicants addressing Part 2 must have experience with interventions related to education. Applicants are encouraged to partner with relevant organizations with the ability to execute such programming throughout Uganda.

For more information, visit https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=326962

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