Education/Literacy Program Manager, Sierra Leone

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 15 August 2019

Job Description

Job Title: Education/Literacy Program Manager, Food for Education

Location: Kabala, Sierra Leone

Reports to: Chief of Party

*Contingent on donor approval

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is seeking an Education/Literacy Program Manager for an anticipated 4-year McGovern Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program in Sierra Leone which aims to reduce hunger and improve literacy and nutrition among school-age students, especially girls. The Education/Literacy Program Manager’s role will be to lead complementary activities at school level, including teacher training, improving early grade level reading and literacy, and existing education activities in the Koinadugu and Falaba Districts. Through the delivery of school meals, literacy/education and nutrition activities, McGovern-Dole Food for Education promotes primary school enrollment, attendance, and literacy results.


Since 2015, CRS Sierra Leone in line with the Government of Sierra Leone’s commitment to support basic education for all, has been implementing the third phase of the McGovern Dole Food for Education (FFE) program - “All Pikin for Learn”. Funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA); “All Pikin for Learn” is an integrated education program - with school feeding as a major component- designed to improve the quality and relevance of education, encourage complete cycle of primary education for vulnerable and marginalized children, especially girls; improve nutrition and increase community involvement and government investment in education for long term sustainability.

The anticipated 4-year program implemented in seven most vulnerable chiefdoms of Koinadugu District. The program is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology together with local and international partners. CRS is seeking a Program/Literacy to be based in the Koinadugu district headquarter town of Kabala in the north of Sierra Leone.


The Education/Literacy Program Manager is field based and will support the Chief of Party (COP) in the overall management of the “All Pikin for Learn” program and take the lead in the preparation of biannual progress and financial reports together with the MEAL and Grant Coordinator. S/he will be directly responsible for leading the implementation of program activities to improve literacy of school-age children. S/he will focus on the “5 Ts” of learning: texts; tongue; testing; teachers; and time. S/he will work with the Ministry of Education to ensure close coordination and alignment with the Government of Sierra Leone education objectives, especially the Education Sector Plan 2018-2020 and any other education sector policy.

S/he will provide oversight to Quality of Education initiatives of the program and will take the lead in the design, implementation, monitoring and reporting of all training related activities of the FFE project either implemented directly by CRS or in collaboration with partners.

The Education/Literacy Program Manager is expected to spend up to 30% of his or her time in the project schools working with Literacy Coaches Supervisors, Literacy Coaches, Teachers, SMC members and School Supervisors of the Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MEST) Koinadugu and Falaba offices.


Capacity and Innovation

  • Work with all FFE staff based in Kabala to undertake a training needs assessment of Community Teachers, Literacy Coaches old and new SMCs, Head teachers and MEST Supervisors
  • Support the Literacy Coach Supervisors and other senior FFE staff to plan and execute all the FFE trainings
  • Identify teacher training needs and liaise with the Ernest Bai Koroma University for selected teachers to be registered in the distance education program
  • Challenge Literacy Coaches and teachers to come up with creative ways of engaging early learners to appreciate prints as they begin to read and write.
  • Provide technical management of all education activities
  • Contribute to the development and direction of the project strategy to improve literacy of school aged children
  • Align activities with evidence-based approaches and best practices in reading instruction, and support complementary activities taking place at the school level
  • Improve teacher effectiveness by providing continuous support and coaching.
  • Integrate the texts, tongue, testing, teachers, and time (“5 Ts”) approach into MGD FFE literacy programs activities as appropriate.
  • Ensure effective coordination with national and decentralized education institutions and local partners

Literacy Promotion

  • Work with the Executive Secretary of the Basic Education Secretariat of MEST, the Association of Language and Literacy Educators (TALLE), and other INGOs implementing early grade literacy interventions to develop a hybrid of early grade literacy instructional materials for the program.
  • Facilitate the training of Literacy Coaches in the use and roll out of the hybrid early grade literacy instructional materials.
  • Work with the Literacy Coaches to ensure that every teacher in the early grade classes spend up to 45 minutes daily for reading instruction.
  • Play an integral part in the design and structure of the reading assessments at baseline, mid-term and final evaluations.

Partnership Management

  • Manage the relationship with MEST technical officers and Deputy Director of Education, and the Ernest Bai Koroma University, as they undertake distance education of untrained project community teachers
  • Develop and maintain effective and mutually beneficial relationships with other key education stakeholders.

Learning, Documenting and Reporting

  • Together with the MEAL Manager, organize learning to action sessions on a quarterly basis.
  • Document, report and share lessons learned from program implementation.
  • Play an integral role in preparing reports of all training activities.
  • Contribute to the preparation of bi-annual reports to be submitted to the USDA via the office of the Chief of Party.


These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.

* Set clear goals and manages toward them

* Collaborate effectively with staff and stakeholders

* Manage financial resources with integrity

* Applies program quality standards to project design and organizational learning

Agency-Wide Competencies (For All CRS Staff)

These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.

* Serves with Integrity

* Models Stewardship

* Cultivates Constructive Relationships

* Promotes Learning


  • Maintain effective working relationships with NGOs, WFP, local authorities, implementing partners and other civil society players

Key Working Relationships

Internal: Work with Program Officers, Program Manager, Area Manager and other CRS staff

External: Partner NGOs, Teachers, Pupils, SMCs, Ernest Bai Koroma University (Makeni) and other school stakeholders.

Supervisory Responsibility

* Literacy Coaches

Qualifications & Experience

* Minimum bachelor’s degree or equivalent in Education

* Minimum of 5 years field work with an INGO

* Excellent oral and written communication skills

* Strong analytical skills

* Computer literate in word and excel

* Ability and willingness live in and travel to remote areas

* Ability to work under pressure, handles multiple tasks, and meets deadlines

* Good interpersonal skills and ability to work in a team

Disclaimer Clause: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties and responsibilities associated with the position. The position is contingent on donor funding.

The position is contingent on donor funding.

About the Organization

Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. We alleviate suffering and provide assistance to people in need in 96 countries, without regard to race, belief or nationality.

CRS maintains strict standards of efficiency, accountability and transparency. Last year, more than 93 percent of revenues we spent went directly to programs that benefit the poor overseas

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