Request for Proposals: Design and Implementation of the English Access Microscholarship Program, 2019-2021

Request for Proposals 2019

 

Request for Proposals: Jordan: DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ENGLISH ACCESS MICROSCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM, 2019-2021

Announcement Type: Sub-Award

Funding Amount: Minimum amount of $50,000 USD to maximum of $300,000 USD.

Opening Date: May 15, 2019

Closing Date: July 7, 2019 @ 5:00 p.m. Amman time UTC + 3

Program: English Access Microscholarship Program

Regional English Language Office of the U.S. Embassy Amman

E-mail: AmmanRELO@state.gov

Background:

In order to build stronger cultural links between the U.S. and host countries around the globe, the U.S. Department of State created the English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) in 2004.  Access provides youth from economically disadvantaged communities with English language and other global citizenship skills that improve educational and employment prospects, build stronger self-esteem, and provide a deeper multi-cultural understanding.  The program serves as a viable educational model for communities with components in leadership, creative and critical thinking, information technology, and civic outreach.  Participants, usually between the ages of 13-20, are expected to play active roles in their country’s socio-economic development and have greater opportunities to engage in a dialogue to resolve local and global challenges.  Since its inception in 2004, approximately 185,000 students in more than 85 countries have participated in the Access Program.  In Jordan, there are more than 5,000 Access alumni, many of who are studying at, or have graduated from, top-tier universities throughout the country.

 Project description:

The goal of the Access Program is to equip bright, talented, economically deserving students with a range of global citizenship skills anchored by the core components of enhanced English language skills and a stronger Jordan-U.S. cross-cultural understanding.  The global citizenship skills aim to build individuals with stronger self-esteem and a keen sense of public service in an increasingly globalized world.  Global citizenship skills include, but are not limited to, critical and creative thinking, leadership, information technology, civic outreach, and media literacy.

The English language component should break from traditional models to deliver a more meaningful, interactive language learning experience centered on the learner.  Project-based and experiential approaches should be employed in order to help the learner use English to understand, discuss, and resolve authentic local and global challenges.  Enhancement and off-site immersion activities should help extend the language learning experience beyond the classroom walls.

Access classrooms should serve as strong educational models for a community.  Programs should, where possible, aim at sharing new and relevant practices with English teachers in other schools, especially those from which the Access students are chosen. Other members of the community, including interested administrators, content teachers, and future educators studying at nearby universities, can also be included in outreach efforts.  The participants’ parents should also be made aware of what and how the students are learning, and appraised of what they can do at home to encourage their children to learn more effectively.  Civic outreach activities should further cement the connection between the Access program and community.

The various aspects of the Access Program are:

After-School/Weekend Instruction

The Access Program must deliver 360 hours of total instruction.  The first component of the 360 hours should be in English classes meeting at least twice per week.  The majority of the program’s hours will be in this component.  Classes typically last from 1.5 to 3 hours.  It is the responsibility of the Provider to consider the schedule of the students, especially during the initial recruitment phase, to ensure that Access classes do not interfere with students’ regular school schedule.

Enhancement Activities

The second component of the 360 total hours will be enhancement activities.  These activities are aimed at fostering Jordan-U.S. cross-cultural understanding, as well as at developing other key global citizenship skills, such as community service and leadership. These activities are an opportunity for educators and students to be creative and extend the language learning experience beyond the classroom walls.  Trips to museums, workplaces, theaters, etc. are encouraged.  Other possibilities include civic outreach activities such as volunteering at a nearby senior citizens home or organizing the cleaning of a nearby park or forest.  In-school activity possibilities include filming role-plays, hosting a visiting speaker from the U.S. Embassy or local community, creating a web page in the computer lab, creating a program newspaper or celebrating a key U.S. holiday such as Martin Luther King Day.  As much interaction with members of the U.S. Embassy or other American youth online is highly encouraged.

It is recommended to have a minimum of at least one enhancement activity per month. The hours used for such activities will be counted as part of the total 360 hours of the program.  Enhancement activities are usually between 1.5 to 4 hours.

Intensive Sessions

The third component of the 360 hours of program instruction are intensive sessions.  These can be conducted at the same location as regular instruction hours or can be held off-site to create more opportunity for students to bond with their classmates.  Intensive sessions usually occur during winter or school holidays and last 2-5 days.  In Jordan, students usually do not sleep over at the intensive session site but meals are provided.  The sessions are usually 4-8 hours a day.  Like the enhancement activities discussed above, these hours are also counted toward the total 360 hours of the program.  The aim of these sessions is to provide students with time to fully experience an English-medium environment outside of the classroom for a sustained period.  A typical day consists of a variety of team-building, problem-solving, and creative activities that allow the students to gain confidence in English and to consolidate the global citizenship skills that they have been learning during the entire program.

Community Outreach

The Access Program site should serve as a model classroom.  Efforts should be made to reach parents and other English teachers in the community, as well as include teachers of other subject matters, administrators, alumni, etc. in the Access experience where appropriate.  While it is understandable that such efforts should not interrupt instructional hours, a plan should be made to reach out several times during the Access program to key groups that stand to gain from being informed about this unique program.  Examples include holding a workshop for parents on how to support a child learning a foreign language or conducting a meeting for administrators to better understand how to create stronger foreign language programs in their own schools.

In Country Educational Service Provider: Roles and Responsibilities

 Proposal Eligibility Requirements:

Proposals may be submitted by Jordanian, U.S. based or international non-governmental/non-profit organizations that are appropriately registered to work in Jordan.

Number of providers:

The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to split the project between two or more providers.

 Program Implementation Locations:

Providers can submit proposals with multiple implementation locations, though some providers who specialize in one geographic area or audience may submit proposals for a single program site.  The proposal should cover the sites where the Provider is confident it can deliver a safe space, with a qualified administrative and teaching staff, over the duration of the program.  Each site should have no more than 20 students per class.  Clean and safe premises for high school aged students is a non-negotiable requirement.

Audience:

In Jordan, the typical age of program participants at the beginning of the program is 13-15.  The age range of students in a class should not be more than two years, e.g. 13-15, 14-16, etc.  Ideally, students should finish the program before they commence studies for the Tawjihi exam, as they will have little extra time to focus.  Other ages, such as university students or young professionals will be considered.  Providers should keep in mind that the program is for students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds.

Proposals that include other specific audiences will also be considered, for example, providers that specialize in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) for disadvantaged youth or community organizations specializing in specific large-scale service-oriented projects.  Providers that can integrate these or other types of specialized programs through the enhancement component of the Access program may consider submitting proposals.

Program Calendar:

The start date of the program will depend largely on the length of the negotiation, contract finalization, and student selection phases.  The program should begin in fall/winter 2019.  The total length of the program which will include program start-up, teacher and student selection, total instruction hours and program closeout will last no longer than 24 months.   Providers must prepare themselves to be as flexible as possible with regard to start dates due to issues that may occur before signing an agreement.

Technical and infrastructure requirements:

The provider must specify the location(s) of the Access program and space that will be used for the classes and activities. The provider must either provide verification that the space belongs to the grantee or a written agreement with the holder of the space. The space must have seating for 20 students; it must have a blackboard/whiteboard, power outlet, and adequate sanitary facilities. The space should also have internet capability (or the grantee should consider providing for this separately).  Providers are also encouraged to share any other unique learning spaces on the premises that are accessible to the program and that add to the overall experience (theater, garden, sports facility, etc.).

 Functional requirements include but are not limited to:

 

  • Plan and prepare programming closely with the U.S. Embassy and Regional English Language Officer.
  • Draft proposals that meet program requirements and submit them for approval to the U.S. Embassy, Regional English Language Officer.
  • Advertise and recruit participants for student scholarships and alumni programming and for professional development opportunities for teachers, directors, administrators, and ministry officials.
  • Collaborate with the U.S. embassy during the participant selection process.
  • Implement the program according to verbal and written guidelines from the U.S. embassy, approved proposals, and signed official documents.
  • Nominate participants for workshops and other professional development opportunities in coordination with the U.S. Embassy and Regional English Language Officer.
  • Regularly monitor and evaluate the program to ensure that it is implemented in accordance with the relevant official documents, encourages and highlights and best practices, and addresses challenges quickly.
  • Send invitations to the U.S. embassy about special events, providing opportunities for U.S. embassy personnel to visit and speak with Access participants, teachers, and other in-country educational service provider staff.
  • Coordinate with the U.S. embassy to distribute certificates signed by the U.S. Ambassador or other U.S. embassy officer to the students at the beginning and end of the Access Program.
  • Submit timely programmatic and financial reports as well as alumni data according to the schedule outlined in official documents and when requested by the U.S. embassy.
  • Keep the U.S. Embassy and Regional English Language Officer informed about significant developments or changes in the program, e.g. teachers leaving, classes being temporarily canceled, etc.

 Assumptions and agreements:

Providers can submit proposals of varying size with a minimum of $50,000 USD and a maximum of $300,000 USD, depending on the Provider’s capability, infrastructure, and geographic spread.  The total project budget, divided by the number of students served, should not exceed $1,800 per student.  Embassy Amman reserves the right to split the project between two or more providers and may request providers to adjust their final proposals and budgets as necessary.  All possible costs – instruction, books/materials, transportation, enhancement activities, administration, food and possible accommodation for intensive sessions – should be covered.  Please see the budget section below for more information on these items.

Teachers in this program should have a minimum of two years’ experience teaching English full-time in any institution, though preferably at a K-12 level.  It is preferable that teachers have degree or diplomas in English language teaching or education.  The instructors should be comfortable and fluent in English and have some cross-cultural experience; preferably with U.S. culture (familiarity with the culture is stressed over actually having visited the U.S.).  Teachers should have progressive views about methodology, employing learning-centered approaches that focus on tasks and projects that lead to interactive classes.  Teachers should be adept at integrating modern technology into the classroom, and at creating a comfortable risk-taking atmosphere that allows students to learn in a non-competitive and intellectually stimulating environment.

Submission information:

Proposals should be submitted to the Regional English Language Office, U.S. Embassy Amman, AmmanRELO@state.gov.    The deadline for submission is July 07, 2019 @ 5:00 p.m. Amman time, UTC +3. In order to be considered as an Access provider, organizations must submit a proposal before the deadline.

Basis for award of the agreement:

The provider should be an established non-profit institution or a non-governmental organization (NGO) with at least 2 years of experience in administering educational programs and/or teaching English, preferably to the target age group. The grantee must have access to an established core of English teachers willing to commit their time to this project. The grantee must identify the location(s) and venue(s) that will be used for this program (verified with a document/preliminary agreement) and will be responsible for recruiting students and, in consultation with the Regional English Language Office, developing the curriculum.

Format of the proposal:

  • Narrative: A narrative document in English, no longer than ten pages, that describes the program in detail is required. This document should include a description of:

1) the provider/organization and staff who will be involved in the program;

2) plan for the afterschool/weekend classes, enhancement activities and intensive sessions;

3) student recruitment and retention plan;

4) specific student audiences and ages;

5) materials/textbooks to be used;

6) monitoring plan;

7) teacher recruitment and professional development plan;

8) program location(s);

9) any other information the provider feels is relevant to communicate how they will administer the program.

  • Budget:

The budget spreadsheet should include all program costs.  There should be a total for the entire budget and the cost per individual student.  The budget spreadsheet should include only the following required categories:

  1. Instruction: teacher salaries—teachers’ salaries should be adequate and competitive.
  2. Books/Materials: textbooks, supplementary instructional materials for students and teachers, Students’ school supplies
  3. Transportation: cost of transporting students and teachers as necessary to and from their Access classes
  4. Enhancement Activities: expenses for enhancement activities may include supplies and must be related to a specific Access project, e.g. celebrating an American holiday, opening ceremony or graduation
  5. Administration: The administrative cost may include staff compensation for work directly related to the Access program such as Program Administrator, Program Coordinators, Accountants, administrative office supplies, Access classroom rental, office telephone, reporting software requirements (Microsoft Excel 2010 or newer), bank fees, wire fees, etc. In Jordan, administration costs usually range between 10-18%.
  6. Food: Providers will have an opportunity to request costs to provide students with food during after school and/or intensive session instruction by providing a one-paragraph justification for consideration within the Access proposal
  7. Accommodation: Providers will have an opportunity to request costs associated with accommodation for students during intensive sessions (not for after school instruction) by providing a one-paragraph justification for consideration within the Access proposal

Registration Requirements:

 For all proposals that are accepted: To apply for federal funding, organizations, whether based in or outside the U.S. must have the following:

Required Registrations:

All organizations applying for this sub-award must obtain these registrations. All are free of charge:

  • Unique Identifier Number from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
  • NCAGE/CAGE code
  • SAM.gov registration

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number and an NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously).

DUNS application: Organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet. If your organization does not have one already, you may obtain one by calling 1-866-705-5711 or visiting http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/displayHomePage.do;jsessionid=81407B1F03F2BDB123DD47D19158B75F . http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform

NCAGE application: Application page here: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx

Instructions for the NCAGE application process:

https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCAGE.pdf

For help from within the U.S., call 1-888-227-2423

For help from outside the U.S., call 1-269-961-7766

Email NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.

Step 2: After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM by logging onto: https://www.sam.gov . SAM registration must be renewed annually.

Bank Information: Payments are normally wired to a bank account with a beneficiary name that matches the provider’s institutional name. We strongly recommend reviewing the local laws that require specific registration in order for a Provider to be able to receive, withdraw, and send out foreign currency. Also, the Provider may need to investigate what type of account to set-up – specifically an account that allows for funds to be received from and sent to the U.S.

Additional information:

For additional information or questions, please contact the Regional English Language Office at U.S. Embassy Amman by writing to AmmanRELO@state.gov.

Questions & Answers:

Question: The RFP does not state if the participants should be exclusively Jordanian, or include Syrian refugee students as well. Can you confirm the program should be Jordanian-only and, if not, what is the ratio of Syrian participants targeted?

Answer: This request for proposals is for Jordanian students.  However, on a case by case basis, refugee students may be admitted to an Access class.  This will depend on location, size of the class and other factors.  It is not necessary to specifically mention refugee students in the proposal.

 Question: Is the upcoming program ECA-funded? Will the award be a sub agreement with FHI 360?

Answer: This request for proposals is funded by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).  The award will be a sub-agreement with FHI360.

 Question: Can RELO Amman provide a budget template to express the required financial items?

Answer: Providers may use a budget spreadsheet of their choice.

 Question: Please confirm if costs associated with community outreach and parental engagement should be classified under enhancement costs.

Answer: Community outreach and parental engagement may be included in this proposal under enhancement costs.  If your proposal is accepted, costs for these specific activities will be reviewed collaboratively with the U.S. Embassy and may be subject to change in the budget line item depending on the nature of the activity.

 Question: The RFP notes that recruited instructors should be “Fluent” in English. Does the RELO have a specific metric or instrument for determining and classifying instructors as fluent vs. functional in English language?

Answer: RELO does not have a specific metric or instrument for determining and classifying instructors as fluent vs. functional in the English language.  Determining and classifying teachers’ English level will be decided on collaboratively with RELO during teacher selection.