At a special event during the United Nations General Assembly 2015 to mark the world’s largest petition in education, #UpForSchool, the launch of the initial phase of the Global Education Platform was announced.
The GEP, an initiative of the Global Business Coalition for Education, aims to leverage technology to provide access to learning for marginalized youth.
GEP Director Adam Braun described the pilot’s initial phase as “India’s largest and most inclusive digital writing contest ever.” Users ages 13+ can submit stories by tagging “YourStoryIndia” on the Wattpad platform via smartphones, feature phones, or web browsers. This pilot aims to facilitate the creation of youth-generated, culturally relevant stories in local languages and appeal to marginalized young people who will be able to read this content for free on feature phones.
Through their partnership with Wattpad, the world’s largest community of readers and writers, the GEP aims to empower children to create their own content and increase literacy via relevant and relatable stories.
“While books about ‘Susie’s first snow day’ and ‘John’s summer camp adventure’ collect dust in schools in Ghana and developing countries around the world, the development community has been missing the opportunity to provide relevant learning material for young people,” Global Education Platform consultant Julia Firestone said.
The GEP and Wattpad share the same vision that foresees billions of people increasing literacy via mobile phones.
The deadline for youth to publish their own story, fiction or nonfiction is March 31, 2016.