In 2019, the Rural Family House of Presidente Tancredo Neves (CFR-PTN) implemented an IT system for monitoring its students development. Called CFR Web, the tool compiles information such as personal data, grades and agricultural productivity, which makes educational management more dynamic, faster and able to be conducted in real time.
Part of the Development and Integrated Growth Program with Sustainabiltiy (PDCIS) coordinated by the Odebrecht Foundation, the CFR-PTN offers youth in rural areas of the Southern Bahia Lowlands an education in agriculture. Adopting an alternating work-education method, students spend one week taking theoretical and practical classes fulltime, followed by two weeks on their family’s farm, where they apply the knowledge they have acquired and share it with their communities.
Deraldo Nascimento, the educator responsible for CFR Web, explains how the tool is essential for accommpanying in real time students academic life and represents a technological innovation for CFR-PTN. “The Family House needs to monitor results, such as the number of multiplier actions a student can do and the number of people they are benefitting, as well as their competency in speaking, reading, writing, etc. Until now, this information was recorded in Word documents and manual spreadsheets, but now we can administrate everything using this new digital technology, which gives us an overview of the student and supports more strategic management of their development,” he said.
According to Mr. Nascimento, the idea that led to the creation of CFR Web emerged in 2015. After the planning and programming phases, the new tool began to be used in 2019 by a test group of ten students. The Family House expects to gradually migrate to the system the academic profiles of the remaining students by end-July.
Educators and students have different permissions within the tool, which is divided into two platforms. Via a computer-based web browser, professors can input data on their students. Meanwhile, students can view information only on their desktop computers and cannot directly share information.
However, using a smartphone app, students can send data, such as photos, or record the activities carried out on their farms. “When students log onto the app, they see their entire academic record. They also can register the completion of activities, such as fertilizing or pruning their crops,” Nascimento added.
Valdemar Santos, a third-year student at CFR-PTN, already is connected to CFR Web. “Right away I thought it was fantastic. Since I use my smartphone a lot when I’m on my property, the app makes it easier and more practical to share data on my farm with my professors,” he said.
Thales Lima, a first-year teacher at the Family House, emphasized the tool’s benefits, which leverages the potential for making more accurate decisions for improving students’ education. “All information is automatically input into the system, which makes it faster and easier to know what is happening with each student in terms of both their educational development and agricultural production,” he noted.