Center for Education Innovations: This Week's News & Views

April 18, 2014Kristen Grauer

This Week at CEI

Managing Director Nicholas Burnett participated in the 2014 Interaction Design and Children Conference (IDC) in Denmark where he demonstrated his knowledge in the field of early childhood education and development as a panelist. The event was co-hosted by Intel and the Lego Foundation

Team members Tara Hill and Michelle Engmann traveled to Senegal this week to assist our local partners in developing a set of learning evaluation tools for local schools. For more information on innovation in the area of student assesment, check out these initiatives from the CEI programs database.

The CEI team is also gearing up for the STIR Education Teacher Changemaker Summit to be held April 28th in Kampala, Uganda. The event is co-sponsored by CEI as a part of our growing partnership with STIR. More information on this exciting gathering is available in the "Upcoming Events" section below!


Upcoming Events

  • April 22 | Injecting Innovation into Your Philanthropy - During this webinar speakers will share the processes and practices that help innovation funders incorporate a greater degree of risk-taking, experimentation, and flexibility into their work. Hosted by the Standford Social Innovation Review (SSIR Live!)
  • April 28 | STIR Education Teacher Changemaker Summit - This summit, taking place in Kampala, Uganda, will highlight new opportunities for teachers and their schools to improve learning through a number of programs and services that reflect best practices from STIR's growing database of micro-innovations for the classroom.
  • April 29 | Transformative Scale: The Social Sector's New Frontier - This webinar, hosted by Standford Social Innovation Review (SSIR Live!), will feature a discussion on how to make the leap from incremental to transformative impact.
  • April 29-May 1 | Conference for Leaders of International Education: "Going Global" - This annual conference, hosted by the British Council, offers an open forum for global leaders of international higher education to discuss current issues. To be held in Miami, Florida.
  • May 4-10 | Global Action Week - Join the Global Campaign for Education for a series of events advocating for the rights of people with disabilities in the global education sector.



  • April 17 | Round 2 Grant Competition - All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development calls for innovative technology-based solutions in three focus areas: Mother Tongue Instruction and Reading Materials, Family and Community Engagement, and Children with Disabilities.
  • May 6 | The Tech Awards - Nominate an individual or organization for outstanding technology solutions in one of five categories: Environment, Education, Young Innovator* (under the age of 27) Health, or Economic Development.
  • May 13 | Read Alliance Early Grade Reading Innovation Challenge - Read Alliance calls for proposals in the field of early grade education. It seeks to discover, develop, and scale early grade reading innovations in order to improve the reading skills of at least five million Indian primary school students.
  • May 26 | ISIF Asia Awards - Nominations for the 2014 ISIF Asia Awards are now being accepted! Nominate an ICT project that is improving social and economic development in the Asia Pacific region. There are four funding categories, including Learning and Localization. 
  • June 25 | Re-imagine Learning Challenge - The Lego Foundation, in partnership with Ashoka and Changemakers, calls for innovative education programs that encourage more playful, enthusiastic learning and develop creativity, imaginative problem-solving, teamwork, empathy, and inspiration skills. #Play2Learn
  • July 18 | Enabling Writers - All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development is now accepting nominations for its $100,000 prize competition which incentivizes the development of software that helps writers draft texts to improve reading skills of children in developing countries.
  • August 31 | Varkey GEMS Foundation Global Teacher Prize - Applications for world’s first one million dollar teacher prize are now open. Nominate an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.
  • Open Ended | Early Childhood Intervention Survey - The International Society on Early Intervention (ISEI) invites you to participate in a brief survey about the status of early childhood intervention in your country. The questionnaire should take only 20 minutes.
  • Open Ended | Atlas Corps Fellowship - This 12-18 month professional fellowship is offered three times a year for nonprofit leaders from around the world. Develop leadership skills from the Atlas Corps Nonprofit Management Series in either the U.S. or Latin America.


Education News

An emphasis on rote learning spawns cheating in India's secondary schools - Although academic integrity is a global issue, new evidence suggests that cheating is on the rise in India's secondary schools due to an intense pressure to score well on national exams. This is due to the nation's increasingly meritocratic system in which test scores determine admission to the best universities as well as the best disciplines, such as engineering or medicine. A number of gadgets are infiltrating classrooms ranging from wireless ear-piece devices and cellphones to low-tech options such as note-passing and bribery. Anti-cheating measures, such as closed-circuit cameras, have been introduced to reduce the exchange of information between students, but with mixed results.

A new microfinance solution is keeping the children of Myanmar in school - As Myanmar pursues aggressive education reform, with particular emphasis on higher education, the nation still faces the challenge of keeping its youngest students in school. While approximately 90% of students attend primary school, approximately 50% pursue secondary education. Dropout rates are especially high in poor and rural areas. A new organization, the Socio-Lite Microfinance Foundation, is providing the most vulnerable families with small loans and scholarships under the condition that parents keep their children in school. To date, the foundation has observed a repayment rate close to 100%. 


Point of Departure

Earlier this week, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) posted a blog entitled "Disabled People in Developing Countries Are the Poorest of the Poor," emphasizing the importance of inclusiveness in global education reform and development. Approximately 15% of the world's population is disabled - a staggering one billion people who face several forms of discrimination ranging from poor access to basic health and education services, to physical and emotional abuse. In its 2012-2015 Strategic Plan, GPE reaffirms its commitment to support children with disabilities by evaluating the work of its developing country partners and building a better understanding of the developing world's needs to improve access, quality, and inclusiveness of education. 

WEIGH IN - What organizations in your country or community are supporting the education needs of students with disabilities? What more must the international community do to better serve marginalized groups of children? 


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