Dubai, UAE: With every swipe of a card, parents can now keep a tab on the eating and spending habits of their children in three Dubai schools.
This is possible thanks to the Campus Key, an electronic ID card, adopted by Al Mawakeb schools and International School of Arts and Sciences (ISAS) in Dubai.
The card allows parents to top up the card with the desired allowance, and view items such as food, stationery and books bought by their children in school through an online portal.
Monitoring the food bought by students from the canteen can help parents control the calories consumed, said George Akhras — Chief Information Officer at Academia Management Solutions International (AMSI), which manages the three schools.
“We wanted to help parents reduce the amount of fat students eat and in order to do that we linked it to consumption. Once we know what they are consuming we can guide the students into moving towards healthier options,” he said.
Akhras said the card also contains necessary health information of the card holders, such as any allergies or health conditions.
“Should a student accidentallyly select food from the school cafeteria that he is allergic to, the staff handling the transaction will be able to identify the situation and can act accordingly. They will be better informed to ensure that the child’s health is not at risk,” he said.
This can also be helpful when the student visits the nurse’s office because she can access their health information with the swipe of a card.
Students can also buy stationery, uniforms and books with the card as actual money is not allowed on campus. They can take out books from the library using the card and librarian can see how many and what books the student has already borrowed, Akhras added.
“Students are not allowed to use regular cash in school. It is safer that way and more controlled, as parents can tell how the money is being used. They decide how much money they want to put in the card to teach their children how to spend wisely. It will also reduce cases of lost money.”
Akhras said the parents must come to school to feed the money into the card or send the money with their children to do so. “However we are having talks with a telecommunication company to make it possible to top up the cards online. This service should be introduced soon.”
Grade six student Feras thought it was cool and grown up to use a card similar to a debit card
“The Campus Key is a very awesome school ID card. It’s like a debit card! I put money in it and I get to use it to purchase things on campus,” he said.
Grade 10 student Nadine said the card makes it easier to manage money.
“I regularly use it to buy food from the school’s cafeteria. It makes carrying money worry-free; it keeps it all in the same place, manageable and controllable; now I am more comfortable carrying my money around school.”
© Gulf NewsJun 2015