This video was taken during a town council meeting in an African village. This mother is asking if we would be distributing our competing teams’ technologies evenly between boys and girls, since the school system does not treat them equally—which of course puts girls at a sharp disadvantage because they are unable to access education.
Distribution of learning is hugely important to us because the setting here is a typical one: Children must travel long distances—in this case 20 kilometers round trip—to attend poor quality schools with too many children in each class. Also there are not enough schools, and the list goes on and on.
The response among people has been very positive and the desire for change is contagious. In fact, one gentleman said he believes that the way children learn today is so flawed that he sees the Global Learning XPRIZE, our competition to develop software that will enable children to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic, as changing the way learning itself happens. These conversations will greatly inform us as we begin preparations for implementation.
Matt Keller is Senior Director of the $15 million Global Learning XPRIZE.