By Peter High, published on Forbes
An estimated 250 million children around the world cannot read, write, or demonstrate basic arithmetic skills. UNESCO estimates that the world will need 1.6 million more teachers globally, a number set to double by 2030. Enter Elon Musk.
Musk is famous for being the face of such organizations as Tesla and SpaceX. He is also the co-chairman of the AI research company OpenAI and the CEO of neurotechnology company Neuralink, among other companies that he is involved with. More recently, he provided $15 million to the Global Learning XPRIZE. The goal is to develop methods to teach the 250 million children who do not have access to primary or secondary education the means to teach themselves to read, write, and do math within 15 months.
Today, XPRIZE announced the five finalists advancing in the Global Learning XPRIZE and awarded each finalist a $1M milestone prize. XPRIZE awarded each finalist for the open source, cutting-edge learning software they have developed for the competition. The five finalist teams will begin field testing their education technology solutions this November in Tanzania.
“Universal access to education is a major priority for XPRIZE, and we are proud to celebrate the change-making teams making impressive strides to ensure every single child has the opportunity to take learning into her own hands,” said Marcus Shingles, CEO of XPRIZE Foundation. “The leading solutions born from this competition could provide the key to unlocking literacy for children most in need, giving them access to an education they otherwise wouldn’t have.”