XPRIZE, the non-profit organization that develops and manages competitions to find solutions to social challenges, has named two winners of the grand prize in the Global Learning XPRIZE supported by Elon Musk. .
The companies, KitKit School outside of South Korea and EE. UU., And onebillion, operating in Kenya and U.K., announced at an awards ceremony held on Google Spruce Goose Hangar in Playa Vista, California.
XPRIZE assigned each of the competing teams the task of developing scalable services that could allow children to learn basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills within 15 months.
Musk was present to award $ 5 million checks to each of the winning teams.
Five finalists, including: CCI based in New York, that he developed lesson plans and a development language so that non-programmers could create lessons; Chimple, a learning platform based in Bangalore that allows children to learn to read, write and math on a tablet; RobotTutor, a Pittsburgh-based company that used Carnegie Mellon research to develop an Android application tablets that teach reading and writing lessons with voice recognition, machine learning and computer interactions, and the two grand prize winners received $ 1 million to continue developing their projects.
The tests required that each product be tested in Swahili, reaching almost 3,000 children in 170 villages throughout Tanzania.
All the final solutions of each of the five teams that reached the final round of the competition have been open source so that anyone can improve and develop local solutions using the toolkits developed by each team in the competition.
Kitkit School, with a team from Berkeley, California and Seoul, developed a program with a flexible, central learning architecture based on the game to help children learn independently, while Onebillion combined math content with literacy material to provide directed learning and activities along with monitoring Personalize the answers to the needs of the children.
Both teams go home with $ 5 million to continue their work.
According to the UNESCO data, the problem of access to basic education affects more than 250 million children worldwide, who can not read or write, and one in five children around the world does not attend school. .
The problem of access is compounded by the shortage of teachers at the primary and secondary levels. Some research, cited by XPRIZE, indicates that the world needs to recruit another 68.8 million teachers to provide each child with a primary and secondary education by the year 2040.
Before the XPRIZE field test of Global Learning, it was reported that 74% of children who participated had never attended school; 80% was never read at home; and 90% could not read a single word of Swahili.
After the 15-month program worked on Google Pixel C tablets donated and pre-loaded with software, the number was halved.
"Education is a fundamental human right, and we are very proud of all the teams and their dedication and hard work to ensure that every child has the opportunity to take the learning into their own hands," said Anousheh Ansari, CEO of XPRIZE, in a statement. "Learning to read, write and demonstrate basic mathematics are essential elements for those who want to live free from poverty and its limitations, and we believe that this competence clearly demonstrated the accelerated learning that was made possible through the educational applications developed by our teams. and ultimately, I hope that this movement will stimulate a revolution in education, throughout the world. "
After the announcement of the grand prize, XPRIZE said it will work to secure and load the software onto tablets; locate the software; and offer pre-loaded hardware and charging stations to remote locations so that all finalist teams can scale their learning software around the world.