INNOVATORS from universities, academic institutions, not-for-profit and non-government organisations are being invited to develop software that offers new ways of improving children’s literacy in developing countries.
World Vision together with the Australian Government and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are calling for entries for the All Children Reading Prize Competition, ‘Enabling Writers.’
The global, $100,000 competition is aimed at stimulating the development of software solutions that assist writers to create and distribute texts in mother tongue languages to help early-grade students learn to read.
Annabel Hart, World Vision Australia’s Manager of Child Development and Rights said that one of the main barriers to improving children’s reading skills is the lack of appropriate and engaging reading materials in local languages.
“Doing this in a child’s mother tongue is known to be one of the most effective ways to promote a child’s education which in turn assists in facilitating social and economic empowerment and ultimately lifting people out of the cycle of poverty,” Ms Hart said.
“The competition is an opportunity for both experienced and up and coming innovators to create a solution which will help to make reading a reality for more children in developing countries.”
Those interested have until July 18 to submit their applications. Three innovators will then be awarded $12,000 each to create their software solution so it can be tested and evaluated in the field before the winner of the $100,000 grand prize is decided.
To qualify for the competition the software created will need to:
Work for writers who know a story they want to write or a subject matter they want to present, but also provide less prepared writers with existing stories and nonfiction text that they could adapt for their audiences;
Support the creation of both decodable and levelled readers;
Ensure writers are kept within technical boundaries for the target reader and reading level;
Provide directions and prompts in a common national language, but allow authors to write in both national and local languages.
The prize is just one part of All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development. Launched in 2011, the initiative calls on innovators from around the world to help develop scalable solutions to increase literacy rates among children in developing countries.
For more information please visit: http://allchildrenreading.org/
Source: World Vision Australia