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

May 30, 2014Kristen Grauer

This Week at CEI

We are excited to join the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) as thought partners for the Ashoka Changemakers Lego Re-imagine Learning Challenge. Supporting the competition in a wide range of activities, we will provide both technical and strategic support to challenge organizers and entrants. Our regional partners from the TEP Centre in Nigeria are also among eight other organizations that were named network partners for the competition that are helping to spread the word on the ground.

We have also added a number of great resources to our Research and Evidence Library. For instance, a new report from Ilm Ideas and SEBCOM, funded by DFID, was just published on Access to Finance for Low-cost Private Schools in Pakistan. Learn more about this CEI topic on our Programs Database!

This week we are also gearing up for the One Year Anniversary of CEI! Make sure you receive our latest news and highlights by subscribing to our monthly newsletter. For an idea of the kind of content we showcase, check out last month's edition here.


Upcoming Events

  • June 24-27 | 2nd Regional Symposium on Open Educational Resources: Beyond Advocacy, Research and Policy - Open University will host its second symposium on Open Educational Resources (OER) in Penang with the objective of bringing together the region's OER community to share, exchange, and promote ideas on learning technologies, such as OER, MOOC, SOOC, and others.
  • June 25-26 | GPE Replenishment Pledging Conference - The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) will hold this conference in Brussels, hosted by the European Union, as a part of its second replenishment campaign. The event will gather a variety of education stakeholders, ranging from government leaders to donors and civil society organizations.



  • May 31 | Innovation for Inclusive Development (IID) Fellows Program - This competition hosted by UNIID-SEA and the Asian University Network (AUN) is seeking applicants from ASEAN countries for its Fellows Program. Winners will be awarded small grants to aid in the development of teaching and learning packages.
  • June 2 | 2014 Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit - Making Cents International calls for proposals that are increasing economic opportunities for young people in the workforce development, financial inclusion, enterprise development, gender, monitoring and evaluation, technology or hospitality, or travel and tourism sectors. 
  • June 23 | The School Enterprise Challenge - The School Enterprise Challenge, hosted by Teach a Man to Fish, is a unique international business competition for school students, aiming to identify and reward the social entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Register today!
  • June 25 | Re-imagine Learning Challenge - The Lego Foundation, in partnership with Ashoka 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

Universal Preschool Education in Vietnam Narrows Growth Gap – New evidence from the World Bank reveals that comprehensive investment in the early childhood education and development (ECD) sector is helping the Vientam to narrow development gaps between regions. At a convening in Hanoi on May 20, Country Director Victoria Kwakwa met with representatives from international organizations such as UNICEF, Save the Children, and ChildFund, as well as preschool teachers from 30 provinces of Vietnam. These stakeholders discussed current challenges and progress made towards achieving universal preschool education - as of 2013 Vietnam had 161,480 preschool teachers and 13,741 preschools, 88 percent of which are operated by the State.

In China, Schools Inadequately Serve Disabled Students - According to the United Nations, China has approximately 85 million people with disabilities. Evidence from special education experts and human rights officials suggest that despite increased efforts to ensure that people with disabilities have access to education, the Chinese government is not doing enough. In 2012, over 90,000 disabled children were not given the opportunity to attend school. Between 2008 and 2012 only 35,000 disabled people were enrolled in higher education, compared to seven million college graduates across China in 2013. Rather than develop an inclusive education strategy for students of all ages and grade levels, the government has allocated billions of dollars for a separate special-education system for the disabled, from primary school to college. Unfortunately, these schools often lack trained teachers, exclusively offer coursework in stereotypical vocational or artistic fields, and prevent students from re-integrating into the mainstream education system.


Point of Departure

Last month, Evidence Matters published a blog post by Howard White entitled "Failure is the New Black in Development Fashion: Why Learning from Mistakes Should Be More than a Fad." The entry recounts a disucssion at the Inter-American Development Bank on the public sector's increasing recognition of the role of failure in learning. White asserts that "incentives should not penalize failure, but failing to learn from failure." He suggests that for development programs, the best way to learn from failure is to measure your progress through (and draw lessons from) impact evaluations - a growing trend in the NGO space. 
WEIGH IN – How does your organization measure its impact? Do you believe impact evaluations are an effective way to measure an organization's success or failure?
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