INDEX: Design to Improve Life has just opened the doors to their 2010 challenge with the theme "Designing for Education," in partnership with the children's rights organization UNICEF. If you are a student, a recent grad, or faculty, you are invited to submit in the following three areas: improved educational facilities, sanitation and hygiene, and gender parity in education.
Here's an excerpt from the brief:
According to UNESCO's 2010 Education for All report (EFA), the number of children out of school has dropped by 33 million worldwide since 1999. South and West Asia more than halved the number of children not in school - a reduction of 21 million. But the latest numbers show that 72 million children are still out of school, and if the trend continues, 56 million children will still be out of school in 2015. Equally important, besides ensuring more children enroll in school, those children already in school must get a good education.
Literacy remains among the most neglected of all education goals, and millions of children are leaving school before acquiring basic skills. In some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, young adults with five years of education have a 40% probability of being illiterate. About 759 million adults lack literacy skills today. Two-thirds are women.
The gender disparity in education is another problem in developing countries today. Even though the share of girls out of school has declined from 58% to 54%, and the gender gap in primary education is narrowing in many countries, the difference is still a problem. In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, almost 12 million girls may never enroll. In Yemen, nearly 80% of girls out of school are unlikely ever to enroll, compared with 36% of boys.
Submissions are due by November 26, 2010. Click here for guidelines.