11 October 2018
by Paul Gibbings
A web-portal development securing better provision to schools
Until the time when all school children and schools have mobile phones and reliable internet, the hard copy textbook is still going to play an important role in initiating and promoting literacy.
Back in May, INEE published “A web-portal development securing better textbook provision to schools,” highlighting the efforts of a group of students from RMIT University in Melbourne in developing a web portal that encompasses data collection from all schools using a Returned Book Record (RBR). This data is input onto a web-portal known as the Textbook Requirement Information Management System (TRIMS).
RMIT University isnow supporting a second group of undergraduates to take the development of the portal to the trial stage. Their hope is that they will enable other students to take advantage of the educational opportunities they have enjoyed by improving literacy levels worldwide.
The RBR allows school principals or their staff to provide textbook information that gives the Ministry quick access to the requirements of the schools, the district, the province, and countrywide needs for the following school year.
The RBR can be completed in 3 ways:
The TRIMS Web Portal will provide not just the textbook needs for the new school year, but also other information that will allow better planning and monitoring at every administrative level.
There are 5 critical questions for each school that will provide essential data concerning pricing, estimations, and weights/volumes for distribution:
The RMIT development has reached a stage whereby it is now necessary to identify a country and a Ministry of Education, perhaps with a supporting donor, willing to agree to trialling RBR/TRIMS in two Districts, over a period of two school years, at the end of the academic year. This would involve training the District and school staff responsible for textbooks at a two day workshop to familiarise them with the data entry required.
"The Australian Volunteers Program (managed by Australian Volunteers International) has reviewed the RBR/TRIMS proposal and can see the positive impact it could have on education in many countries in the developing world. Locally led development is encouraged, and as such we only accept requests from local organisations and Government Departments in our local offices of the 26 countries we work in. If approached by any organization (e.g.an Education Ministry), they would seriously consider a request to send a volunteer to help develop the RBR/TRIMS proposal in that country."
The RBR/TRIMS team would welcome enquiries concerning this development. We are looking for further interest and support for the project in order for us to achieve the aim of “…one child…one book…” even in most remote school.
Please visit the web portal currently under construction at https://goo.gl/Ci6Av8 - there is a short 3 minute video clip that will guide you through the most important aspects of the portal. Please also take some time to see the RBR/TRIMS presentation, where you can see how we arrived at our current stage.