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Global Learning XPrize offers $15 million to tackle illiteracy in the developing world


Millions of children around the globe don't have basic literacy skills, presenting a problem that cannot be solved without some big picture thinking. Launching today, the Global Learning XPrize offers US$15 million in prize money for the development of software that teaches children these vital skills in the space of 18 months, without the presence of a teacher.

"Two-hundred and fifty million children from around the world cannot read, write, or do basic arithmetic and many live in developing countries without regular access to schools or teachers," says Peter Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of XPrize. "It would take over one and a half million additional teachers to meet this unserved need. It is clear this traditional approach will not scale."

XPrize's vision for shaking up education begins with a six-month team registration phase. Over the following 18 months, the teams will work toward developing open source software that can be used autonomously by children around the world as learning tools. A judging panel then picks out semi-finalists, who are afforded a month to fine-tune their approach.

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